Horseshoe bus seats introduced to encourage passengers to talk to each other

Telegraph Reporters
Bus firm creates horseshoe seats to encourage people to chat. - MoreBus/BNPS

Horse-shoe seats have been introduced by a bus company in an attempt to get passengers to speak to each other. 

It is also hoped that the pilot scheme will stop people from putting their bags on the spare seat next to them to deter strangers from sitting there.

Go South Coast, which runs services across the south of England, have installed the U-shaped seats on 13 of their buses in Wiltshire and Dorset.

The new design seats eight people on the back of single decker buses.

If the idea proves popular it could see the concept used all over the country.

Andrew Wickham, managing director of Go South Coast, said: "People have this idea of passengers sitting on the bus on their smartphones protecting the spare seat next to them.

"This idea is about trying to get away from that.

"We're not claiming we're going to undo the smartphone revolution but if we can get people to look up from them and chat that can only be a good thing.

Bus firm creates horseshoe seats to encourage people to chat. Credit: MoreBus/BNPS

"We debuted the design at a bus show a few weeks back and since then the response has been really positive.

"If the response from passengers remains just as positive I think it's an idea that could take off."

As well as making commuters more sociable and friendly, the seats are also designed so large families and groups can sit together and have a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

In recent years company's buses have become more and more smartphone-friendly with wifi being made available on modern vehicles, but this would appear to be a move to buck the trend.

Mr Wickham said: "In recent years we have become a lot my passenger friendly in relation to smartphones.

"Most of our buses have free wifi connectivity and you'll find USB charging points on a lot of them too.

"This is just an effort to make it easier for groups, and other people who want to chat, the opportunity to do so."

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