As the UK Government plans to outline its thinking on how the country will be eased out of lockdown, Stagecoach set out a six-point plan for the “new normal”.
The firm has identified short and long-term changes that will help reboot the economy and protect communities.
It follows recent research by consultants SYSTRA that suggests public transport use in Britain’s cities could be 20 per cent lower than pre-Covid-19 levels after lockdown.
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach chief executive, said: “Covid-19 has taken a terrible toll on many people’s lives across the UK and overseas.
“But among all the human tragedy, the pandemic has given us a window on what could be a positive future world – one with dramatically fewer cars on our roads, safer streets, cleaner air and less damage to our environment.
“As government examines how to take Britain out of lockdown, we must make Covid-19 a defining moment to deliver fundamental changes in how we manage mobility and put sustainability at the heart of decision-making.
“Public transport, particularly our regional bus networks, and active travel must be central to a transformed approach by all governments.
“The lockdown has shown how much the country is missing human contact. Buses provide that essential daily social link, helping combat loneliness and hidden mental health challenges. While some have switched to home working during Covid-19, for many that is not possible.
“Buses are delivering vital emergency links for key workers and they are as critical to our economy in normal times.
“We need to make Covid-19 the game-changer for sustainable transport and out of tragedy create hope.
“By grasping this opportunity and working together, we can create a real legacy to honour the key workers that have selflessly given their lives in the fight against coronavirus.”