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Travel and public transport

Last Updated 10:00am, 27 August 2020


Introduction

Information about coronavirus is available in different formats and languages, including easy read, BSL and for people who are not online.

Public transport

The government have published advice on using public transport and also this useful infographic on steps to take during your journey.

Guidance is also available for staff in the transport sector. You may want to download and display a poster about correct hand-washing technique.

Changes to timetables

Bus operators

With all bus operators, the situation day-to-day is dependent on staff availability and may change quickly.

If a journey is of critical importance, for example, for a key worker, we recommend that you check with the operator concerned.

Find out more on the latest updates to timetable changes for bus operators in Devon.

Train operators

Train operators in Devon

For further travel advice please visit GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do.

Using your National Bus Pass

National Bus Passes can be used for unlimited travel during weekends and Bank Holidays, and from 09.30 am until the end of service on weekdays. (Use of National Bus Passes reverted to the standard operating times on Saturday 6 June 2020 after some initial relaxing of restrictions)

Any passengers experiencing issues or problems using their Bus Pass should call 01392 383000 and ask for Concessionary Travel or email nationalbuspass@devon.gov.uk

What to do if you become unwell on public transport

  1. Go back to your home or place of residence immediately
  2. Try to avoid close contact with other people and touch objects and surfaces as little as possible
  3. Phone the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service to find out what to do next

Travelling to school and college

When planning how your child(ren) will get to and from school, the Department for Education has issued some guidance.

For any children entitled to transport assistance from the Local Authority, our Transport Coordination Service is working with transport providers and your school. Bus passes and information on travelling on dedicated home to school transport from September, will be sent out in the last two weeks of August.

Many young people travel to and from school or college by public transport.  With social distancing measures remaining in place on these public services, we have identified areas where additional capacity is required, and will be providing duplicate vehicles at peak times dedicated to school and college students. Full details of these additional services can be found on our Travel Devon website.

Further guidance for parents and carers to help prepare for the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges

Short distance school journeys

Government advice is that journeys to school of up to two miles should be made by walking or cycling; because of this we are not adding additional capacity on short-distance services. Town and City services in Exeter, Exmouth, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Dartmouth, Tiverton, Barnstaple and Bideford used for journeys to school will be operating, but capacity will be limited due to social distancing.

You may need to consider how you or your child will make their journey and if space is not available consider walking, cycling or using an alternative bus journey.

Parking

Customers needing to use our pay and display areas are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines and are encouraged to pay for parking ‘hands free’ using RingGo.

Anyone needing to pay by cash is asked to ensure they use hand sanitiser before and after using the parking machine to minimise their risk of catching or spreading the virus.

Concessions made for care and health workers, nursing or residential home staff and residents required to work from home without having a valid on-street parking permit available for their use will end on 30 August.

People will be expected to make their own parking arrangements or explore alternative transport options after that date.

More information can be found in our news centre article about changes to parking services introduced in response to the pandemic.

Frequently asked questions

  • Parking at home

    I have been asked to homework meaning that I need to park an additional vehicle in the residents’ parking area near my home. I cannot buy another permit as I already have 2, what can I do?

    Whilst it is essential that any government or employer guidance is followed on home working, the Council is not obligated to provide additional permits for this use.

    Our current policy is only two resident permits per property are allowed and we can no longer provide additional temporary permits. The resident will have to explore other alternatives for their parking needs.

    I still cannot leave the house to move my car because I need to self-isolate because I/one of my household has symptoms or I’m shielding.  My car is currently parked in an area of limited waiting/pay and display, or residents parking what can I do?

    If you have parking concerns in relation to the need to self-isolate, or ongoing shielding with a family member we will provide assistance wherever possible, please email parkingservices@devon.gov.uk and tell us about your circumstances and need for a temporary permit and we will see if we can provide you with something.  We may ask for supporting evidence to support your request.

    I am still anxious about going outside and moving my car and don’t have a parking permit, what can I do?

    Whilst we accept for some going outside now after months indoors can be scary, you will have to move your car if you do not have a permit or be at risk of receiving a parking fine. Can a friend or family member help you find an alternative parking space?

    I have a Blue Badge but have been unable to renew it due to not being able to complete the application, will I get a parking ticket if I use it?

    We are affording additional discretion for Blue Badge holders whose permits expired after 1 January 2020 as we know some other local authorities may be behind with processing applications.  If you have a Badge that has expired you should submit a new application now at www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

  • Parking whilst working as a care or health or support worker

    How are you helping care and health workers deliver their services in the community?

    Care and health workers already benefit from our existing parking exemption scheme. Those care workers holding a ‘timeclock’ issued by the authority can continue to park in areas of limited waiting, residents’ parking areas, on-street pay and display without time restriction.

    On single and double yellow line ‘no waiting’ restrictions we have extended the time permit from 1 hour to 2 hours. Please do continue to display your time clock and park safely without causing an obstruction.

    I am a new volunteer or personal assistant, I do not have a care and health worker timeclock, is there anything you can do to help me?

    Please visit our exemptions for care and health workers web page for further information.

    If you cannot find the information that relates to your service, please email your enquiry to careandhealthpermits@devon.gov.uk and we will see what we can do to assist you.

    I need to park in a pay and display bay to visit my client, do I need to pay?

    No, if you have one of the Council issued car and health worker time clock permits, or an NHS issued permit. These are the only permits which will be accepted in lieu of payment for parking on-street.

    How are you helping hospitals and health centres? The car parks are full and key workers are struggling to park.

    We are working closely with the RD&E Trust and the city and district councils and the NHS have made available an official parking pass to identify NHS staff cars when parked in areas of limited waiting, resident parking areas, and on-street pay and display or in nearby Council operated car parks.

    We will continue to work with health and care providers to identify strategic sites should further support be needed for staff to park.

    I am a health and care worker I am worried about getting a penalty charge notice.

    Whilst we have provided permits exempting workers from many of our parking restrictions, we understand that parking may still be problematic. If a penalty charge notice is issued, whilst you were delivering essential care this to a client or patient, this will likely be waived at appeal upon confirmation that you were undertaking duties at that time as a key care or health worker.

    Please do park legally and safely wherever possible.

  • Parking whilst working as a key worker

    I am a key worker where can I park?

    We are unable to offer on-street parking concessions to all key worker letter holders and are focusing assistance to those who deliver medical care and support.

  • Off-street parking

    I cannot find a parking place near my home or place of work, can I park in the district council car park and do I still need to pay?

    We would recommend looking at your local council web page for the latest information on their car parks opening hours and whether charges have been re-introduced or any local concessions being given.

  • Dealing with appeals

    I’ve received a penalty charge notice and I’m concerned that I will not have time due to additional time pressures currently to send in an appeal?

    The Processing Team are affording extra time and additional discretion when considering appeals and reaching our decision and are re-offering the chance to pay at the reduced charge in most cases.

    Please explain in your appeal why you may have been prevented from submitting an appeal on time.

    I currently owe money for a penalty charge notice (PCN) but I am unable to work at this time and will struggle to pay it.  

    The Council is offering reductions in the amount owed when a charge certificate is issued or when a case is about to be registered as a debt with the County Court as we recognise that many are struggling financially at this time.

    If you have an open case that you would have difficulty paying but accept that you need to pay it, please make contact in writing either by letter or email to parkingservices@devon.gov.uk to tell us about your current circumstances.

    We cannot accept payments in instalments as we have no means to do so but may be able to defer a payment date to an agreed date with you when you would be able to pay it. If you can, please provide some evidence of your financial hardship with your correspondence

    I have received a letter from a debt enforcement agent about an outstanding PCN and I am concerned about a visit by an agent.

    The government has now issued guidelines to debt recovery firms about recommencing their duties and making contact with those with outstanding debts.

    Letters have been sent out to all concerned encouraging dialogue between both parties to discuss the person’s current circumstances and when payment can be made.

    Agents will be able to visit the homes of debtors from 23 August if no payment or payment arrangements have been agreed by phone before that date.

    If your current financial situation will make payment of these outstanding amounts very hard for you, please do discuss this with your agent and provide them evidence of your current circumstances. They are empowered by the Council to agree a sustainable payment plan with you, or to make recommendations to the Council to waive the amount entirely.  Alternatively, seek independent financial advice.


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