More operators have stepped in to assist with the free-of-charge transport of people to and from coronavirus COVID-19 vaccination appointments, joining others that are doing the same.
Tring-based Masons Minibus and Coach Hire has been shuttling elderly residents of nearby villages to and from vaccination centres in Hemel Hempstead, Leighton Buzzard, Stevenage and Stoke Mandeville for a number of weeks.
Smaller coaches in the Masons fleet are being used and the offer has proved popular with people that need to travel for up to an hour to be vaccinated.
“Where we can, we are joining up routes, passengers and vaccination centres so we form a back-and-forth shuttle, all with social distancing in place,” says Business Development Manager Candice Mason.
“A local retirement complex contacted us and asked us to help with their residents, so we have been able to start coordinating this with the vaccination centre. It has been great fun to support our community, and these older passengers are excited to get out.”
Among the people transported by Masons have been a couple that were celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary (pictured, above) on the day they travelled to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Staffordshire operator Hollinshead Coaches is offering free transport from nearby areas to the vaccination centre that has been established in Biddulph Town Hall.
In response to some offers of payment, Hollinshead has placed a no-obligation charity donation box on the vehicle used.
“At the end of the vaccination process, we will count donations and donate the money to a local food bank. Within reason, we will then match the total,” says Director Stephen Haydon.