FIRST Midland bus services will operate on a reduced timetable from next week while sustaining journey opportunities for key workers and for essential travel.

With the nation under lockdown, buses will broadly operate to Sunday timetable levels but with additional morning journeys for key workers and emergency service staff.

Effective from Monday, March 30, the announcement follows strict measures aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19 with people told to stay home apart for exercise and essential shopping once a day.

This week has seen the a reduction in the number of people travelling as people adhere to the lockdown.

The local Traffic Commissioner as well as local authorities have been informed of the changes, according to First Midland.

Andrew Jarvis, managing director, said: “With much of the UK effectively ordered to stay at home for at least the next few weeks, we have made the decision to move to a reduced service timetable to support those who still need to get to and from work and get out to shops and pharmacies, whilst fulfilling our own role as vital key workers during this time of national crisis.

“Just a few weeks ago it was almost inconceivable that these restrictions would be in place, which only underlines what a challenging, dynamic and rapidly evolving situation the UK faces, and one which First Midland is monitoring and responding to day-by-day, hour-by-hour.

“It’s important to emphasise that we are in constant contact with stakeholders, including local authorities and ministers and rest assured everything is being done to keep those key workers mobile as the nation comes together to limit the spread of coronavirus.”

It is a fast-changing dynamic situation and those looking to travel for essentials are being asked to stay up to date via the website.

The managing director added: “I would like to personally thank everyone at First Midland who have been absolutely fantastic at keeping the wheels turning for essential workers in the local area.

“Regular customers can be assured we will endeavour to get more frequent services back up and running as soon as the government decides it is safe to do so.”

Click here for bus updates in the area.