RESIDENTS can look forward to the return of bus services across Southampton and the surrounding areas.

It comes as Xelabus plans to resume some of its services from next month.

According to Gareth Blair, the managing director of the Eastleigh-based company all buses will be kitted out with hand cleaning dispensers and driver protection screens will be installed.

There will be posters telling passengers how to maintain social distancing measures while using buses and waiting at bus stops.

Passengers are being urged to pay for their fares by contactless payment to stop the spread of Covid-19

Xelabus will be restarting services following partial relaxation of the government’s guidelines.

From Monday, June 8 it will restart the X4 Hedge End to Eastleigh bus service on a Saturday service timetable.

The free ASDA Fareham and Tesco Winchester customer bus services will also be reintroduced.

From Monday, June 22 the Xelabus X6, X7, X9 and X10 will return on a Saturday timetable.

The X6/X7 will be extended to serve the Hiltingbury area with a special timetable yet to be announced.

From Monday, July 6 the X11 from Lordshill to Southampton City Centre, Bitterne Hoppa, X12, X15 and X17 will hit the road again.

Xelabus suspended services in March following Government guidelines to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Blair said: “We didn’t take the decision to suspend bus services lightly, but our workforce take priority at our company and we felt it was safer for them and their families.

"We have spoken to many of our passengers who have supported us in our decision to stop bus services to also discourage travel and stay at home.