LANCASHIRE County Council's cabinet member for highways and transport has paid tribute to the vital work being carried out to keep buses, trains, and community transport running to support key workers and ensure people can make essential journeys.
The council is working closely with transport operators to keep passengers informed about changes to services, support operators with timely payments, and check that reduced timetables continue to meet people's needs.
Their Travelcare service, which usually transports vulnerable people to services such as day care and special schools, has carried out a variety of extra tasks including distributing PPE, and delivering free school meals, while operating more limited school and dial–a-ride journeys during the pandemic.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK is highlighting the efforts of the bus and coach industry to keep services running and supplies moving during the coronavirus outbreak using the hashtags on social media #ThankYouBusWorkers and #ThankYouCoachWorkers.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Lancashire's transport workers are playing a vital role during the current crisis, ensuring everyone who works in an essential service, whether that be health, manufacturing, or the food industry, can get to work, and that goods and supplies are delivered.
“It's important that we recognise their efforts alongside all the key workers who have responded to the crisis with such professionalism and dedication to keep the country running during this difficult time.
“The county council's Travelcare drivers have been doing a great job, staying in touch with the vulnerable people who use the dial-a-ride services whilst our partners in community transport have been doing the same, making sure people have what they need if they're staying at home, or taking them shopping to make use of the dedicated hours being operated by supermarkets.
“In the early days of the crisis they also delivered hundreds of thousands of meals to schools, and have helped to keep care homes supplied with personal protective equipment.
“Lancashire's transport operators have done an excellent job of keeping services running, and it’s a great tribute to them, and particularly the drivers on the frontline, that they've just been getting on with the job in very difficult circumstances.
“We've been supporting transport operators as much as we can by quickly processing payments for concessionary travel and contracts to help with their cashflow, and ensuring the information we provide for passengers is up to date on the www.traveline.info journey planner and county council website.
“As far as we're aware the current levels of service are meeting what people need, but I would also ask people to let us know about any gaps in public transport so that we can work with operators to address them.”
You can find information about buses at https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/public-transport