FROM July 19 the Government is making it no longer a legal requirement to wear a mask in enclosed public places.

As a result, lots of businesses are now having to make a hard decision between requiring their customers to wear masks and leaving it down to personal choice.

Transport companies have an especially tough decision.  As somewhere that lots of people gather, trains and buses can help the virus spread, particularly on busy services.

We contacted transport companies which operate in Cumbria including Stagecoach, Transpennine Express, Northern, ScotRail and LNER to ask what their guidelines will be.


As the major bus operator throughout the county, most journeys taken will be on a Stagecoach bus.  Stagecoach directed us to the Confederation of Passenger Transport, who said:

"Operators will expect people to think of others and wear a face covering on board, if they can, in line with government guidance. Messaging to customers will encourage them to do so as they will in other busy public spaces.

“Operators are continuing to do everything they can to ensure people can travel with confidence. This includes delivering enhanced cleaning regimes, ensuring buses are well ventilated and providing tools such as apps to allow customers to see how busy their bus is and help plan their journey in advance.”

Northern, Transpennine Express, Avanti

Northern operate most of the county's trains.  They provide service from Carlisle to Newcastle, down the West Coast through Workington and Whitehaven, to Barrow and then across South Cumbria to Carnforth in Lancashire.  They also have an East line through Kirkby Stephen and a service connecting Kendal from the South.

Transpennine Express only operate from a few stations in Cumbria.  They use the line that starts in Glasgow and finishes in Liverpool, running through Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme in Cumbria.

Finally, Avanti use the same line as the Transpennine Express routes.

These companies said they would follow the guidance of the Rail Delivery Group, who told us: “Rail companies will ask people to follow the government guidance and, out of respect for others, wear face coverings if an indoor setting is busy.

"Train travel is low risk, with the majority of carriages well ventilated by air conditioning systems or by doors and windows.

"As restrictions lift, we will continue carrying out extra cleaning and providing better information about how busy services are, so that our passengers can travel with confidence.”


Using only Carlisle station, ScotRail is in the unique position of being the only operator following the Scottish Government's guidance, rather that of the English.

As a result, you will still have to wear a mask on ScotRail services or risk being ejected.

They said: "It is worth remembering that there are different road maps out of coronavirus restrictions across the UK.

We base our policy on advice and guidance from the Scottish Government and will continue to do so. As such, there will be no change to the guidance on ScotRail services for the time being."

Face masks will be manatory in Scotland until at least August 9 and possibly even later.