We're safe and COVID-19 secure!

Last updated 27/11/2020

Following the latest Government announcement we want to reassure all customers that our buses will be aiming to run as planned during the new national restrictions. As you will already be aware we have many additional measures in place to ensure we comply with COVID-19 regulations, including extra cleaning and face coverings to be worn by all.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the way we operate our buses has changed. We have amended many of our processes in order to keep our customers and our colleagues safe.

Following the end of the national lockdown restrictions, from Thursday 3rd December 2020, your Gloucester Green travel shop will be reopening.

Opening times:

  • Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday: 09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday: 09:00 - 16:00 

To remind our customers, from Sunday 30th August 2020, in line with guidance from the government, our buses have returned to what can be considered our ‘normal’ level of service. From the same date, we made changes to your River Rapids X38/X39/X40/NX40, Connector X2, Connector X32/X33/33, 11, 41, 45, 136 and school services. We also introduced a new service 20. All our services are back to normal timetables, with the exception of our night bus services which will not return until restrictions on the evening and night time economy have been lifted.

Click here for your current timetables, maps and guides

To help you travel safely on our buses, you can use our new When2Travel feature allowing you to check predicted bus capacities before you go! 

Face coverings are now required on public transport. Find out more.

Message from David Brown

In a video, Our Go-Ahead's CEO, David Brown, explains why you can travel with confidence on bus services. We're safe and ready when you are!

Watch the video


Who may and may not travel?

Anybody may use public transport for journeys. To keep you safe, please ensure to follow the government guidance at all times.

Don’t travel by bus if you feel unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms.

See the government guidelines for passengers. These also advise you not to travel if you are clinically extremely vulnerable. We therefore recommend you take expert medical advice on this before you do travel if you are unsure whether or not this classification refers to you.

NHS Test and Trace

The government have launched the NHS Covid-19 App to aid its test and trace efforts. Our customers are advised to download this app and keep their phone on them whilst travelling to ensure that you are notified if there has been any exposure risks near you whilst you travel.

You can find out more and download the app here.

What timetable is being operated?

Most services have returned to timetables that are similar to their pre-coronavirus times on weekdays. Frequencies on many evening services have been reduced due to the continued closure of leisure and entertainment venues and services on weekends are running to special timetables.

Are there any timetable changes soon?

Our timetables last changed on Sunday 30th August as outlined above. 

We're constantly reviewing the situation and we will provide advance notice of any future changes on this page and on our  Facebook and Twitter pages.

What if I'm disabled and require assistance?

If a disabled passenger requires assistance they should request this in the same way they usually would. For more details please see our accessibility page. If you are concerned about asking our drivers for assistance while maintaining social distancing, consider using our journey assistance cards which can be downloaded here

What steps will you take to maximise social distancing and how can we help?

To help customers to effectively maintain social distancing, the capacity of our buses has temporarily been reduced to the range displayed on the vehicle. The exact capacity will vary depending on those passengers who can sit closer together from the same household, and our drivers have been asked to use their discretion. Find out more.

We ask that you use alternate rows when travelling with us and sit by the window, leaving an empty row in front and behind you. We also ask that you socially distance yourself from others whilst waiting at bus stops, and stand back to let other people off the bus before boarding.

Do I need to wear a face covering? 

Yes, you now need to wear a face covering on public transport. This can be a mask, scarf, snood, bandana or even something you can make out of an old t-shirt. There are also some people that will be exempt from wearing a face covering - see our latest guidance.

What additional cleaning is being carried out?

Our buses are being cleaned regularly and we have implemented additional daily touchpoint cleaning using a virucidal chemical, which helps prevent viruses and bacteria from settling on regularly touched surfaces. Watch our safety video above to see some of the things we've done to enhance the safety on-board our buses.

Is hand sanitiser available on-board?

No, we are unable to provide hand sanitisers. We ask that you bring your own and wash your hands as often as possible, at least before and after every journey.

When is the best time to travel?

If you can, we ask that you travel outside of peak times to save space for those that have no other option but to travel at that time. Our When2Travel tool allows you to look up to two weeks ahead using a forecasting engine to predict how busy each bus will be, even down to individual bus stops.

What happens if the bus I'm waiting for is full?

Unfortunately, our capacity for each bus is reduced at the moment due to social distancing. If a bus is full, you may see the ‘bus full' sign on the front of the bus  and we kindly ask that you are prepared to wait for the next bus in cases like this. So far, we are only seeing a small number of journeys around peak time that are near our social distancing capacity. We are monitoring things daily and should there be any recurring issues, we'll look at providing further journeys.

Please use our When2Travel tool to check if you’re journey is likely to be busy.

What happens if the last bus of the day is full? 

We won't leave anyone stranded with our last buses. We're continually monitoring passenger numbers and our last buses aren't reaching their “socially distanced” capacities. We'll continue to monitor all journeys and should anything change, we'll look to increase frequencies or duplicate journeys to ensure you can travel.

Can I pay with cash on the bus?

We only ask that you pay with cash if you have no other option. Please try to provide the correct fare. Where possible, use contactless payments or the app instead. We increased the spend limit for contactless payments on our buses from £30 to £45 from 3rd April 2020.

From 21st June, you’re also able to use Freeflow, our new convenient way to pay for your bus travel that’s completely touch free.

Are there any travel shops open?

Update: Following the end of the national lockdown restrictions, from Thursday 3rd December 2020, your Gloucester Green travel shop will be reopening.

Opening times:

  • Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday: 09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday: 09:00 - 16:00 

Our Gloucester Green travel shop and City Sightseeing Oxford Visitor Information Point will be temporary closed from Thursday 5th November until further notice.

If you require any help, our customer services team are online from Monday to Friday between 09:00hrs and 17:00hrs. You can call us on 01865 785400 or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

How can I top up my key?

You can still top up your key card as normal via our online portal or by using the machine at Didcot Parkway railway station.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can temporarily top up your 1 week, 4 weeks, 12 trips and any 5 days products on the bus. Simply ask your driver for help with this. From Sunday 21st June, on-bus key top-ups for new products will also be available to be purchased directly from your driver. Find out more.

We would appreciate if our customers could please try to pay with contactless cards or devices during this time to avoid the need for unnecessary handling of cash as much as possible.

Who can I contact regarding bespoke transport needs?

Do you need to arrange transport for you or your key worker colleagues? We have a team ready to help with bespoke travel requirements. Get in touch by emailing office@thames-travel.co.uk.

COVID-19 safety information and travel advice

Plan your journey

  • Plan ahead and use a direct route where possible
  • If you can, travel at quieter times and avoid travelling at peak times - use our handy When2Travel tool to help check the best times
  • Take hand sanitiser and a face covering - see latest guidance for face coverings
  • If you require assistance, you should continue to request this as you normally would
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before beginning your journey

On your journey

  • Maintain 2 metre distance where possible
  • Wear a face covering - see latest guidance for face coverings
  • Use contactless payments or the app where possible
  • Be patient and please follow any instructions provided by our colleagues
  • Wash or sanitise your hands as frequently as possible

Completing your journey

When you finish your journey, you should:

  • Follow guidance at your destination
  • Wash or sanitise your hands as soon as possible