STAGECOACH says it can't force its passengers to wear masks on its buses, even though it's the law.

A bus firm's customer services team was responding to a concerned passenger who got in touch after seeing people getting on the number 55 without masks on the day it became compulsory to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Adam Grayson told the Adver: “It is about a public transport provider not following the government guidance and enforcing what has been made mandatory for any and all, bar those suffering from respiratory issues.

“If a drunk customer was aggressive before getting on the bus they would refuse entry, due to the risk of harm, this is no different.”

In the email, seen by the Adver, the company said: “I can confirm that we cannot enforce the law because we are not the police and only the police and British Transport Police can enforce it.”

A Stagecoach spokeswoman told the Adver: “Most passengers are looking to do the right thing and are very supportive of the changes.

"However, we know that it will take some time for passengers to adapt to this new requirement. As with any change in any part of life there may be instances where people forget or aren’t aware and we are helping our passengers to understand the new guidance.

“We have detailed information on our buses and across our website and social media channels, and we will continue to remind people of the importance of following the new rules to help themselves and their fellow passengers.

“The government has published a list of categories of people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. Our free journey assistance card is available at

“As with many other changes made as a result of the pandemic, responsibility for complying regulations lies with individuals themselves. We will appeal to customers to act responsibly.”

The spokeswoman added: “Drivers are not required to wear masks whilst they are in their cab as they are behind a protective screen. If they leave the cab, to help a customer, they will wear a face covering.”

Earlier this week, Swindon’s Bus Company responded to criticism that its passengers were flouting new government rules. Managing director Andrew Wickham said the firm expected all passengers to wear a face covering ‘if they can’.

Adver readers have shared their experiences on Facebook. Anthony Holmes said: “There is a lot of the drivers not wearing them.”