Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and FAQs for our customers

Page last updated:  21/04/21

The safety of our colleagues and customers remains our main priority.

Lothian ask all customers to follow the latest Scottish Government guidance and to plan journeys in advance using our mobile app or the journey planner on our website.

All customers must wear a face covering when traveling on our network unless exempt.

From Monday 26 April, our Shandwick Place TravelHub will reopen on Monday to Saturday between 0830 and 1730 hrs. Our Waverley Bridge and Musselburgh TravelHubs and Airlink Kiosk are closed until further notice. Our Park and Ride sites remain closed.

If you have lost your Ridacard, please visit Shandwick Place TravelHub during opening hours where a member of the team will be happy to help.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend Shandwick Place TravelHub, please email our Retail Team at contactless@lothianbuses.co.uk with your full name, postal address, date of birth and a contact telephone number. They will aim to have a new card ready for collection within 5 working days from receipt of your email and will be in touch directly to arrange a suitable collection date and time. All personal data provided will treated in accordance with our Privacy Policy and will be used only to locate your card record and process your replacement.

To help us to help you, we would ask that you take a minute to read the information below prior to contacting us. If the matter cannot be answered using the information below, our Customer Services team can be contacted via email to mail@lothianbuses.co.uk.

If you think you have left an item on one of our vehicles, please complete our online Lost Property form: https://www.lothianbuses.com/lost-property/. A member of the team will then be in touch directly to assist further.

Thank you to all of our frontline teams and the hundreds of colleagues working behind the scenes to deliver a fantastic service, ensuring that Lothian can continue to meet the travel needs of our customers.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their cooperation and understanding during this uncertain time.

Below we have provided answers to some of the most common questions we are receiving from our customers.

For more information on Coronavirus, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

For information on protection levels and restrictions, visit https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Bus services

Can I continue to travel on Lothian’s services?

The Scottish Government has announced that all parts of the country will move to Level 3 from Monday 26 April. The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose.

If you are planning on making a journey on our services, we ask that you continue to help us keep our drivers and customers safe by following the guidance set out below, bearing in mind that capacity on public transport remains limited at this time.

We advise planning journeys in advance using our mobile app or through our journey planner on our website.

Do I need to wear a face covering?
Customers must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose for their duration of their journey, unless exempt, in line with current Scottish Government guidance. Please visit https://www.lothianbuses.com/exemptions/ for more information on exemptions.

Further guidance on face coverings, including how they should be worn and cleaned/disposed of, is available here.

Are there any extra measures I should take whilst travelling?

As advised by the NHS, everyone should follow simple steps to help stop viruses spreading:

  • Wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) with hot water and soap or hand sanitiser before and after travelling.
  • Use a tissue for coughs/sneezes and take these with you when you leave the bus. Catch it, bin it, kill it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth for the duration of your journey, unless you are exempt.
  • Follow our on-bus social distancing measures, such as sitting apart from others and leaving every other seat empty; make use of all spaces, including the upper deck where available; don’t crowd one another; and stand behind the line on the floor when waiting to disembark.
  • If unwell, do not travel. Remain at home.

 

Hygiene practices and physical distancing

Are you carrying out additional cleaning on your services?
All of our vehicles are cleaned externally and internally on a daily basis, and we have introduced heightened cleaning measures in response to this situation including more enhanced cleaning of the main customer touch-points such as hand poles and grab rails and our driver cab areas.

Cleaning across all of our sites has also increased. We have issued detailed reminders to colleagues and provided additional cleaning materials where possible.

Will you be providing hand sanitisers on your services?
We have introduced additional cleaning across our fleet including main customer touch points and are sharing hygiene reminders from Scottish Government and health authorities across all of our social platforms. We are not currently looking to roll out hand sanitisers on our services.

How are you protecting your colleagues, such as drivers?
The safety of our colleagues and customers remains our number one priority. We have implemented robust protocols to help stop the spread of the virus. We continue to remind all of our colleagues of the importance of good hygiene practices and physical distancing and, working with key suppliers, we have introduced antibacterial cleaning materials across all of our sites. In addition, as with the main customer touchpoint areas, we are also increasing the frequency of cleaning within driver cabs and other areas our staff come into greater contact with.

We have also introduced a series of measures to further enhance driver and customer protection including:

• Enhanced cleaning regimes on all vehicles
• The creation of hand sanitiser dispensing areas for our driving team so that colleagues can top up small containers for use at work
• Removal of all vehicles from service that do not have driver cab screens fitted
• Installation of clear vinyl to cover gaps on the screens in the drivers cabs
• Application of tape to the floor 2m from the drivers cab area
• Cordoning off the front two seats on vehicles where these seats are located close to the driver’s cab
• The launch of a social distancing campaign on-bus and on our social media platforms to reinforce the critical messages to customers.

 

Ticketing

How can I get a new Ridacard?

Did you know we have a range of flexible ticketing options available? Please check our Tickets section to discover what best suits your travel needs at this time.

If you wish to apply for a new direct debit Ridacard, please visit our Shandwick Place TravelHub (open Monday to Saturday, between 0830 and 1730 hours) where a member of the team will be happy to assist. Where possible, we ask that customers download and complete an application form in advance before attending.

I have a Direct Debit subscription, but the Ridacard has expired/stopped working – how can I get this replaced?

Your subscription isn’t linked to the usage or validity of your Ridacard, so we’ll continue to collect payments each month until you either contact us requesting cancellation, or you cancel the Direct Debit instruction with your bank. If your Ridacard has stopped working or has expired, including if the matriculation expiry date has passed for Student Ridacards, please email our Customer Services team at contactless@lothianbuses.co.uk so we can arrange a replacement.

I’ve lost my Ridacard – can I get a replacement?

If you have lost your Ridacard, please visit our Shandwick Place TravelHub (open Monday to Saturday, between 0830 and 1730 hours) where a member of the team will be happy to issue you with a replacement during your visit.

If, for any reason, you are unable to attend Shandwick Place TravelHub in person, please email our Retail Team at contactless@lothianbuses.co.uk with your full name, date of birth, postal address and a contact telephone number. All personal data provided will treated in accordance with our Privacy Policy and will be used only to locate your card record and process your replacement.

Please note that we aim to issue you with a new card within 5 working days from receipt of your email and will be in touch directly to arrange a suitable collection date and time.

I have a Direct Debit Ridacard – can I pause this if I need to stay at home (self-isolate) or work remotely?

We do not have the capability to pause or suspend our Direct Debit Ridacard product but you may cancel your card and subscription.

If you wish to cancel your direct debit Ridacard, please email directdebit@lothianbuses.co.uk with a note of your Unique Reference Number (6-digit number on the front of your Ridacard, to the left of your photograph), your Ridacard number (the 8-digit number beneath the word “Ridacard”), your name, address and contact telephone number.

Emails to this inbox will be processed as soon as we can, but you will not receive a response. Any personal details you supply will only be used to identify your account, process your request and contact you if necessary regarding this.

If you have requested cancellation of your direct debit Ridacard, then your card and subscription will be cancelled as soon as is possible. We also recommend that you cancel the Direct Debit instruction with your bank.

Refunds are calculated as the time in days between you telling us you want to cancel your subscription, and the valid to date which was generated by your last successful payment. Once processed, refunds will be credited directly to the originating bank account where available, or otherwise will be made by cheque and posted.

I have an Annual, 9-month, weekly or 4-weekly Advance Purchase Ridacard – what happens to the travel I’ve paid for but cannot use?

For Ridacards with valid products which customers have not used, Lothian will extend the validity of these tickets. This extension will be equal to the difference in days between either 26 December or the last usage of the ticket thereafter; and either the date you wish to start travelling on our services again, or the expiry of the product on the card – whichever is earlier.

To claim the extension, customers should take their Ridacard to Shandwick Place TravelHub where our team can help you. Your extension will start from the day you visit us. We can’t set this to start from a date in the future, so please don’t visit until you are ready to start using your Ridacard again.

I have m-tickets which have expired – can I get a refund?

If you have any m-tickets which have expired on or after 26 December 2020 owing to the 180-day validity, please drop us an email with the details and we can reinstate these tickets.

The easiest way to do this is within the app which will allow us to more easily locate your account. From the sidebar menu, go to ‘Contact’, followed by ‘Contact us by email’.

I need to renew my National Entitlement Card?

National Entitlement Cards are issued by the Local Authority in which you live – please contact them directly for a replacement. You may also be able to apply for a new over 60s bus pass, Young Scot or new disabled bus pass online on the Get Your NEC website.

 

Lost property

I have left an item on the bus. How do I get this back?

If you think you’ve left an item behind on one of our services, please complete our online Lost Property form here and a member of the team will be in touch directly to help. Attendance at the department to collect an item is only by pre-arranged appointment – please do not go to the department if you’ve not been given a collection date/time by a member of the team.

 

Contingency plans

What contingency measures do you have in place if this continues?

Our teams are closely monitoring the current situation and taking advice from Scottish Government and industry bodies including the Confederation of Public Transport. Our priority is to protect the safety of our customers and our colleagues. In addition, we will continue to liaise closely with Scottish Government and public health authorities on any further steps we are required to take as the situation evolves.