Transport operators praised for Covid-19 help

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has hailed the efforts of transport operators and employees across the country who have gone above and beyond to help the nation's Covid-19 vaccination roll-out.

From the NHS and a bus operator working together to launch the UK’s first Covid-19 mobile vaccination unit and a bus targeting hard-to-reach communities in Crawley, through to rail and bus operators changing routes, adding stops and putting on free bus services, the industry is playing a vital role in helping people get their vaccinations.

As well as working tirelessly to help keep the trains and stations running safely throughout the pandemic, Network Rail has continued to contribute towards overcoming Covid-19 away from the tracks by volunteering to help set up the new large-scale vaccination centre near Exeter.

Workers recently gave up their time to unload about 100 pallets of equipment from articulated lorries and set it up inside the main building.

In Hartlepool, Tees Flex bus, a partnership service between the Tees Valley Combined Authority and a bus operator is offering a bespoke service for healthcare workers travelling between Hartlepool and North Tees Hospital.

Elsewhere, in Shrewsbury, a bus operator in partnership with Shropshire Council will be operating two free shuttle services to the new NHS Vaccination Centre at Sports Village in the town.

Commenting, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Throughout this pandemic, 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.”

Chief Executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Graham Vidler added: “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.”

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