PASSENGERS could be left waiting at the side of the road if the bus they're trying to catch is a quarter full.

First Bus, which runs services across the borough, will expect drivers to start counting the number of people getting on and off the bus on Monday to enable proper social distancing.

Once the vehicles are 25 per cent full, drivers will not be letting anyone else board, leaving passengers at bus stops to wait for the next service.

Those who are able to board will be directed to use seats at an “appropriate distance” from each other, according to the national firm.

Dave Lynch, chief information officer of parent company FirstGroup, said: “Since the Government’s announcements last week, we have been working round the clock to find ways to innovate so that on our buses we can ensure safe, socially distanced space for our passengers.

“We are immensely proud that we have been able to develop this new system so quickly.

“We fully support the Government’s guidelines and urge passengers to only travel if their journey is essential.”

Drivers will count passengers using a new device added to their ticket machines.

John Clarfelt, the company’s chief executive, said the “groundbreaking technology” will be “vital for drivers” as demand for public transport increases over the coming weeks.