Coronavirus Update Close

We know many of you will be looking for information for how lockdown will affect our services. We're working hard to keep our services running for essential journeys, however there may have been some changes to timetables in your area. Please check our latest timetables for more information.

We've put in place measures to allow you to travel safely including limiting available seats on buses and enhanced cleaning. Please avoid busy times, use contactless payment where you can, keep your distance and take your litter with you. You can keep up to date checking our main Coronavirus page.

You must wear a face covering throughout your journey, unless you are exempt. Find out more on our travelling safely pages for England, Wales and Scotland.

Travelling Safely in England

Travelling safely in Scotland

Last updated  4th January 2021

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Some islands will remain at Level 3.

We would like to reassure you that bus services will continue to operate as per current timetables until further  notice. 

If you need to travel on an essential journey, minimise the distance you travel, please make sure you're up-to-date with what's happening in your local area by checking guidance on the   Scottish Government Protection Level page.

The safety of our customers and employees is our priority so, in line with government guidance, we’ve put in place measures to help you stay connected across Scotland.

Make a plan:

  • Allow extra time for your journey and try to travel at off-peak times, where possible.
  • Check our latest timetables before you travel.
  • Check our busy bus indicator on our mobile app to avoid busy services. The busy bus indicator is there to help you plan your journey while our buses have a reduced passenger capacity to allow for social distancing. 
  • The situation is changing all the time so make sure you're up-to-date with what's happening in your area by checking the local government guidance.
  •  If your bus  looks too crowded, please wait for the next one. 
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before  your journey. 
  • Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport , so unless you're exempt, please remember to bring one with you for your journey.   


At the bus stop:

Travelling Safely on our services


  • Keep a safe distance from anyone else in the queue. 
  • Leave plenty space for people to get off the bus before you get on.
  • Get ready to pop on your face covering. Remember if you’re at the bus station please have your face covering on at all times.
  • Pay by your smartcard, contactless card or smart phone where possible. Remember you can purchase your ticket in advance on our mobile app
  • To allow for social distancing buses will have limited capacity. If your bus has a BUS FULL sign please be prepared to wait for the next bus. 

On the bus:

Travelling Safely on our services


  • Wear a face covering for the duration of your journey. It’s an added level of safety for you, your fellow passengers and our drivers. Unless you're exempt, it is now mandatory to wear a face covering on all of our buses .
  • Only one person can sit in a double seat, unless you're with a member of your household. 
  • Open a window, if you can, this will help with ventilation. 
  • If you bring something on board, please remember to take it away with you, including masks/gloves, belongings and litter.  
  • Please comply with any instructions from your driver, they will always have your safety and well-being at heart.
  • If you think your bus was too busy to allow for social distancing at 1m, fill in one of our feedback forms

Paying for your journey:

Payment Options


  • You can  buy tickets in advance from our online shop and on our mobile app. 
  • You can  also use contactless payment methods on all our buses.
  • If you only have cash, please try to have the exact fare. 


We're Good to Go! 

Like many other businesses, we've now received the 'Good to Go' certification from Visit Scotland. This stamp of approval helps people recognise businesses adhering to government and public health guidance as well as those having carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment to check they have everything in place to reopen safely (or in our case to continue operating safely!).

Good to Go - Scotland


Q. Are you still running revised timetables? 

A. For now, yes we are continuing to run our revised services and our focus is making sure that those who have to make a necessary journey are able to get to where they need to go. 

Q. Where can I find your revised timetables?  

A. You can find timetable information for your local area on our website under “Service Updates” or in the   temporary timetable page. Please know we’re constantly reviewing these so keep checking to make sure you have the most up to date information.

Q. Are you increasing the number of services you operate and when will you be returning to your normal timetables?

A. We’re monitoring the numbers of people travelling and where possible we’ll try to add extra buses at busy times. We’re also working closely with government and local authorities on plans to increase the level of bus services as restrictions are eased and more people need to use our services. If you've used the service recently, let us know how we did by giving us some feedback

Q.  Are your travel shops and ticket offices closed? 

A. Yes, in line with the latest advice from the government. Customers who still need to make necessary journeys can continue to pay by contactless or by using the exact change (if possible) on our buses. 

Q. Are you only accepting contactless payments now?

A. We’re still accepting cash on our buses but  we’re encouraging customers to pay by contactless wherever possible. Tickets can also be bought in advance online or on our app. 

Q.  Do I need to have the exact fare if I pay by cash?

A. We are still offering change on all services in Scotland, but if you do have to pay by cash it would really help our drivers if you can have the exact fare, if possible. 

Q. Will you still let people travel even if they don’t have the exact fare? 

A. If you have to pay by cash, having the exact fare does help to reduce the level of cash our drivers handle on their daily shift You should always have a means of payment for your bus journey. Our drivers will assist those who are vulnerable and will make sure no-one is left stranded. 


Q. I’m working from home/self-isolating or I need to look after a dependant, can I get a refund on my ticket? 

A. If you'd like to talk with us about a refund about any of our tickets, please use our   refund request form.   

We’re currently really busy with lots of customer requests and it’s taking us up to 28 days to respond and process refunds so we would ask you to be patient.  All of our refund requests (however you send them in) go into the same queue. We’re prioritising by the date we receive them, so please avoid getting back in touch before 28 days has passed as it just slows things down for everyone. View our standard refund policy in section 13 of our   online terms and conditions

Q. What are you doing to help customers socially distance on your services?

A. All of our buses are fitted with protective screens for the safety of customers and our drivers when boarding/alighting the bus. Some of the seats around the driver have been removed from use and we request that customers take responsibility for socially distancing themselves from other passengers. Our buses are all operating at a reduced maximum capacity to allow for on board social distancing. 

We are closely monitoring the levels of use on our services, if you’ve been on board recently and would like to give us feedback it would be much appreciated.  

Q. Should I wear a face covering?

A. In line with advice from the Scottish Government it is compulsory to wear a face covering when using public transport.  Spot checks are in operation and there is a £60 fine for not wearing a face covering. If you want to show you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you can download the Thistle app to show to the driver. Exemptions will apply to those who cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons. Children under 5 are also exempt.   

Q. Will your drivers be wearing face coverings?

A. We provide face coverings and gloves for all of our staff to use on an optional basis. As all buses are now fitted with protective screens so your driver may choose to not wear a face covering. 

If the driver needs to leave their cab for any reason, including assisting a passenger, they will wear a face covering.

Q. The bus was showing a ‘Bus Full’ sign and the driver wouldn’t let anyone else on but there were still spaces on the bus.

A. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff is our priority and we’re following government guidance on social distancing on board our services. This means that there are limited spaces onboard to allow for social distancing and the driver will only be able to let a certain number of customers on the bus before turning on the BUS FULL sign, even though there are spaces still available.  

We know that this may mean some customers may not be able to get on their usual bus and have to wait for the next service. We encourage you to plan ahead, avoid busy times  if you can by using our    Busy Bus indicator, be patient and consider others who may need to travel more urgently than you.  You can give us feedback to let us know how busy your route is.

Q. I am exempt from wearing a face covering, do I need to prove this to the driver?

A. You do not need to provide any evidence of your exemption, however, if you would like to  we recommend using the Thistle Assistance Card/App.  There are many different types of journey assistance card - don't worry if you don't use the Thistle Card, our drivers will recognise the critical information from any journey assistance card to help you when travelling on our buses. 

Q Are you carrying out additional cleaning on your services? 
A. We already have well-established and rigorous cleaning regimes for our buses and coaches. Since March, we enhanced the measures we have in place with more regular cleaning of the main customer touch-points such as hand poles and grab rails with anti-viral products. We’re also giving additional cleaning materials such as personal hand sanitiser to our staff, as well as extra cleaning materials on board our buses. In some areas, you may start to see additional cleaning taking place throughout the day in bus stations and other interchanges.

Q. Do you provide hand sanitiser on your services?

A. We do not provide hand sanitiser on our buses or trams so it is important that you thoroughly wash or sanitise your hands before and after you travel.

If you have another question you can still
get in touch with your local Stagecoach company.

Last updated 4/1/2021