09 Apr 2020
• Stagecoach details additional steps being taken to support key workers, local communities and supply chain
• Public transport continues to play a vital role in the country’s efforts to beat COVID-19
• Measures include dedicated shuttle buses for NHS workers in some areas, support for communities and additional capacity to distribution centres
• Timetable improvements have also been made following key worker feedback
Stagecoach has publicly thanked its employees right across the country for the fantastic work they are doing in keeping key workers moving as part of the national effort at this difficult time.
Public transport, especially the bus, has become even more important to the country to ensure that vital public services continue in the face of COVID-19.
The country’s biggest bus and coach operator also outlined additional steps being taken to provide extra support for key sector workers. This includes dedicated shuttles and demand responsive transport for healthcare workers as well as measures to support local communities, the supply chain and distribution networks.
Helping the country’s valuable NHS workers
• In Aberdeen and the surrounding area, the NHS megarider ticket continues to offer discounts to NHS workers.
• In the Scottish Highlands, free travel is available for NHS staff in the Inverness area going to or from Raigmore Hospital and New Craigs between 7-10pm through a dial-a-bus service that can be booked up to the day before.
• In Glasgow, Stagecoach is working with bus operator McGill’s to increase travel options for key workers with four buses an hour between Glasgow and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and shared ticketing.
Supporting local communities
• In Inverness, bus drivers are helping Highland Council with deliveries to remote rural communities.
• In Aberdeen, a new shopper shuttle service has been introduced between the Countesswells housing development and local supermarkets.
Encouraging feedback to enable timetables to be improved for key workers
Across the country, Stagecoach has been revising its timetables to cater for the reduced demand in travel following the government’s advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel.
The timetables have been developed to continue supporting key workers on their journeys to and from work, but Stagecoach has also encouraged feedback from its customers on specific changes they would like to see. As a result:
• In West Scotland, extra journeys have been added between Cumnock and Ayr Hospital and between Cumnock and Kilmarnock to help cater for key worker shifts.
• In Aberdeen, temporary timetables have been enhanced to cater for morning shifts at hospitals as well as offshore workers connecting to the heliport.
In addition, discussions are ongoing with local authorities across the country on how Stagecoach buses not being used in public service might be able to provide extra support with food deliveries and other essential public services.
Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Chief Executive, said: “Key workers across Britain are working incredibly hard as part of the national effort to beat the coronavirus. I’m extremely proud of all the great work that our own teams are doing to keep the country moving, including getting our vital healthcare workers to hospitals.
"Our own heroes behind the wheel and their colleagues in support roles are really putting their country and their local communities first. We know from the feedback we've received from many customers across the country how much their selfless efforts are appreciated and we are doing everything we can to keep our people and our customers safe.
"We are also trying to play our part through special initiatives in partnership with local authorities and the NHS to support key workers, the supply chain, distribution networks and other vital services.
“It’s important that we all follow the government and public health advice to tackle the epidemic and pull together to support each other at this time.”
Stagecoach is strictly following government and public health guidelines, including those from the World Health Organisation, to keep its employees and customers safe. A number of extra measures have been put in place including:
• Asking passengers to pay by contactless wherever possible, or have the correct change for their journey if they can. Alternatively payments can be made online or via the App.
• Supplied thousands of bottles of personal hand sanitiser to employees with larger refill bottles at depots.
• Ensured that nearly all buses are fitted with security screens which have been adapted to provide a barrier to help prevent transmission of the virus.
• Launched an enhanced cleaning regime of buses and workplaces, which is being strictly adhered to and includes extensive cleaning of the key touch-points such as the ticket machines, hand poles, and cash tray.
• Carried out extensive customer communications asking people only to travel if necessary, and to practice social distancing by using a single row per person if possible, avoiding the two rows directly behind the driver and keeping a safe distance between the driver and other passengers.
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