MAIN bus routes which had been largely scaled back following the coronavirus outbreak will come back into more frequent operation over the coming days, it has been announced.

Several changes to the ways buses will run across East Lancashire have been announced by the Blackburn Bus Company as they prepare to run a new timetable from Sunday.

Bosses have reassured customers that all buses are clean, safe and ready to go as they prepare to introduce additional capacity to many major routes by providing more buses and extra space for customers.

The Blackburn Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said: “An immense amount of work is going on every day behind the scenes to make sure our buses are safe for everyone to use. We’re constantly monitoring customer numbers and adding in extra buses wherever we see journeys becoming busier, so everyone can space out and to enable effective social distancing.

“Our message is fully in line with the Government’s current advice but, as lockdown measures ease, we feel now is the right time to explain more about what we’re doing to keep our customers safe, and what you can do to help when the time comes for you to step on board our buses.”

Among other routes, the number one between Blackburn and Darwen with start running every 10 minutes and every 20 minutes to and from Bolton.

An adjusted timetable for the Hotline bus also means there will be a link between Preston, Blackburn and Burnley every 30 minutes Monday to Friday and once an hour on weekend.

As part of its enhanced and extensive daily cleaning regime, a powerful anti-viral mist is sprayed through its buses each night – with further deep cleaning at bus stations and destinations throughout the day to maintain the highest standards of hygiene.

Mr Hornby added: “With extensive cleaning throughout the day and plenty of room on board, right now our buses are among the safest places you can be when travelling.

“Our collaborative approach sees us introduce a range of initiatives led by colleagues and stakeholders to promote safety on board our buses. All our team continue to be hugely positive and their incredible efforts have got us all through the pandemic – my sincere thanks go to them all.

“The experience gained during the lockdown is helping us to plan ahead now as people begin a limited return to work. We will provide the quickest and best value solution to congestion and air quality in our towns and cities as we move beyond the pandemic – and in the meantime, our buses are clean, safe and we’re here if you need us.”