18 February 2021
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has hailed the efforts of transport operators and employees across the country saying that they have gone above and beyond to help the nation’s coronavirus vaccination roll-out.
He highlighted the NHS and Metrobus working together to launch the UK’s first Covid-19 mobile vaccination unit and also praised a bus targeting hard-to-reach communities in Crawley.
Bus operators changing routes, adding stops and putting on free bus services were also mentioned by the Transport Secretary who said that the industry was playing a vital role in helping people get their vaccinations.
“Throughout this pandemic,” Mr Shapps said, “our transport heroes have been at the frontline keeping the country moving. Now, they are stepping up yet again to help deliver the vaccinations and get people to vaccination centres, helping us fight back from Covid-19.”
The contribution of the passenger transport sector has also been welcomed by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).
Its Chief Executive, Graham Vidler, said: “Bus and coach operators across the country have been delighted to be able to play their part in the national effort to vaccinate against Covid-19. Operators have provided extra services and stops to help get people to vaccination centres and local GP surgeries across the country, showcasing the vital role buses and coaches play in helping people move from A to B.”
Other operators highlighted by the Transport Secretary include:
In Hartlepool, Stagecoach’s Tees Flex bus, a partnership service with the Tees Valley Combined Authority, offering a bespoke service for healthcare workers travelling between Hartlepool and North Tees Hospital.
Go North East, Nexus and Go Ahead working together to put on three free-to-use vaccination centre shuttle buses operating to Nightingale Hospital vaccination centre in Washington and setting up a new dedicated bus stop.
In Newcastle, Go North East launching a network of vaccination shuttle buses for the North East Nightingale Hospital and preparing to launch a vaccination bus in the coming weeks.
Arriva, operating two free shuttle services, in partnership with Shropshire Council, to the new NHS Vaccination Centre at Sports Village in Sundorne Road, Shrewsbury.
In Derby, Arriva’s Pride Park Park-and-Ride enhancing its Saturday timetable to run every 30 minutes throughout the day (from 7.30am to 6.00pm) to provide a service for the public attending the NHS vaccination centre at Pride Park.
The Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach amending services to provide links to the new mass vaccination centre at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford.
Harrogate’s leading bus operator, the Harrogate Bus Company, preparing to provide a free bus service to make travel easier for Covid-19 jab appointments at the town’s vaccination centre.