A 30 day “guarantee against all viruses” at bus stations in Cambridgeshire is to be withdrawn after an intervention by the UK Trading Standards Authority.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority said on August 12 that “after years of neglect” two city bus stations had been given a “deep clean with a 30-day guarantee against all viruses”.
The Combined Authority tweeted: “Queensgate and Drummer Street bus station are sparkling clean!
“After years of neglect, both bus stations have been given a new lease of life with funding from the Combined Authority.
“This includes a deep clean with a 30-day guarantee against all viruses.”
In a second tweet they wrote: “Getting our bus stations sparkling so we can ride with confidence!
“The Combined Authority is funding an immediate deep clean of Queensgate Bus station, Peterborough and Drummer Street Station, Cambridge.”
Mayor Palmer himself had tweeted: “Whilst travelling with Stagecoach_East last month I was shocked by how dirty Drummer Street Bus station has become. I am glad that
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is funding an immediate deep clean and general tidy up of Queensgate Bus station, Peterborough and Drummer Street Station, Cambridge.”
But the company that supplied the anti-viral product has now withdrawn “all statements that our products can ‘help to protect surfaces for up to 30 days’ following a consultation with the UK Trading Standards Authority”.
Prior to the change, a spokesperson for the Combined Authority explained how the system was supposed to work. They said: “Queensgate [Peterborough] and Drummer Street [Cambridge] bus stations have been cleaned with antimicrobial technology which includes a microbe shield resistant to Covid-19 within the guaranteed 30 days.
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“Zoono leaves behind a mono-molecular layer that permanently bonds to the surface and has a lasting effect against viruses for 30 days when maintained with just water. “The fogging machine allows the neat Zoono chemical to spray in a fine mist giving a full coverage of all surfaces to ensure protection everywhere it is sprayed.”
The manufacturer of the cleaning product used, Zoono, then said it amended its anti-viral protection claims on August 13.
Managing director and CEO at Zoono Holdings Ltd., Paul Hyslop, said: “Zoono voluntarily withdrew all statements that our products can ‘help to protect surfaces for up to 30 days’ following a consultation with the UK Trading Standards Authority.
“While we have internal global laboratory test data and evidence to support this statement, we have been advised that we cannot communicate this until we have the authority from the regulator.
“The safety of the public remains our priority and we are confident in the capabilities of our products. We are now working with UK Trading Standards to supply full evidence of our efficacy and longevity.”
The anti-viral product has reportedly been used on the London Underground and in other public spaces.
When approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service on August 19 about the change in circumstance, the Combined Authority then made another statement which said “the sterilising cleaning is a nice-to-have add-on for this process but was not a requested treatment”.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the Combined Authority will clarify its earlier message posted on social media that the clean provided a 30-day guarantee against all viruses
A spokesperson for the authority said: “At a time when there is great concern about Covid-19 the government has recognised that there are simple things that can be done to reassure people using public transport and that includes deep cleansing of bus stations up and down the country.
“The Combined Authority are very pleased to be able to use this money to give Queensgate bus station an absolutely thorough cleaning.
“The work involved closing the bus station for four nights for a cherry picker crane to get into the high angled roof space of the bus station; to clean all the doors and windows, and to scrub clean the pavements throughout this large building.
“The sterilising cleaning is a nice-to-have add-on for this process but was not a requested treatment – it was suggested by the contractor as a finishing touch to a very timely piece of work.
“We hope that the travelling public enjoy using the deep cleaned bus station.”