Arriva is restricting the number of people that can get onto its buses as part of new social distancing measures it is introducing.

The bus operator says it is bringing in a number of new rules for its passengers during the coronavirus pandemic with immediate effect, in line with Government guidance.

This includes buses having a revised capacity to help keep passengers safe during journeys - and when this is met buses will now show a 'bus full' sign.

When the bus is full drivers will only stop when passengers want to get off. If the bus stops only one person will be able to board for every passenger that disembarks.

Arriva says that passengers should be prepared to wait and help others, prioritising those who need to travel "more urgently".

Other measures that are being introduced include seats within two metres of the driver being taped off and a no standing policy.

But wheelchair access will always remain available.

Oliver Monahan, area managing director at Arriva, said: “The safety of our passengers and colleagues is of the utmost importance to us and in addition to these new measures, we continue to operate in line with previous government advice to ensure bus travel is as safe as possible for those needing to make essential journeys.

"We appreciate some people may be concerned by the new capacity levels and would like to assure you that we want everyone’s journey to be as smooth and as safe as possible. We will be closely monitoring and adapting services in line with demand, wherever we can, to help ensure this is the case.

"We have an enhanced cleaning regime in place, ensuring all touch-point surfaces, both on our buses and in our depots, are regularly deep cleaned. Our driver’s protective screens have also been enhanced. Guidance on social distancing is clearly marked on board our buses with notices advising passengers where to sit.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their continued support and encouragement of our bus workers during this time, it is a pleasure for us to be able to serve our local communities.”

Arriva is also asking customers to follow the steps below to aid with safer travel:

• If you can, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible

• Carry hand sanitiser with you if possible

• Keep windows open to help with ventilation

• Avoid sitting in seats which face each other

• Sit next to a window and leave a space in front, behind and next to you

• If you are travelling with someone from your household, please sit next to each other

• Pay by contactless or via the Arriva m-ticket app – only pay by cash if you have the exact change as drivers cannot issue change

• Do not stand or queue in the aisle of the bus or next to the driver

• Be patient and wait for passengers to get off the bus before you board

• Keep a 2 metre distance away from other people at bus stops