READING Buses have increased service levels as the government eases more lockdown restrictions.

The extension of services from this week (June 1) is also designed to ensure that whilst on board, bus users continue to have plenty of space for social distancing.

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Reading Buses say the "great news" for customers is that timetables will increase on all key routes to around double their current level, which the company say should give customers ample space on board.

Most routes will operate their normal Sunday service - except for bronze 11, purple 17, claret 21 and yellow 26, where the current slightly reduced Sunday service will continue.

Reading Buses chief executive officer, Robert Williams, said: “Whilst we are not returning to normal timetables yet, this is the first step towards that.

"Government advice remains to avoid public transport and therefore customer numbers continue to be very low. By starting to increase frequencies we can cater for more customers and keep the number of people on each bus to around 25 per cent of the normal seated allowance.

“There will of course be flexibility to enable people from the same household to travel together so we will have temporary, advisory, seating capacities for each vehicle.

“We will be recommending the best seats to sit in to maintain the strict social distancing. It’s also worth adding that no-one will be allowed to stand when on board except to leave the bus, and even then only once the bus has stopped.

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“We have also taken great care to remind customers about the part they play with helpful new notices being displayed on stops and around our vehicles.

“We are asking customers to observe social distancing of two metres whilst waiting to board the bus, to do so one at a time and allow space for people to get off first.

“Equally, we are asking them to download our app so that they can see when their bus is coming, minimising their waiting time." He added that, where possible, the company are encouraging customers to wear a face covering when travelling.

Full details can be found on the Reading Buses website.