Operators offer support to keep London’s key workers moving

25,000 idle vehicles pledged so far to help key staff practice social distancing during travel

With recent news reports showing busy tube carriages and lack of social distancing during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, transport providers have written an open letter to the government offering their support and vehicles for London’s key workers.  

Many operators have seen business rapidly decline since the outbreak of the virus and have vehicles which are standing idle. 

In the letter, the group, which includes the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Transport2 and Getthas highlighted the availability of vehicles from over 1,000 operators across London and the South East which can transport key workers with safe distance seating. It also highlights the need to keep passengers away from the crowded Underground. 

At the time of writing, almost a third of Transport for London (TfL) staff are self-isolating due to the virus. This has resulted in transport services being cut and greater passenger congestion on its continuing services.  

Mathew Hassell (pictured), CEO of Transport2, says: “In these uncertain times, it has never been more important for us all to join forces and work together to keep the nation moving.  

“The UK coach, minibus and taxi industries have thousands of vehicles ready to go now, that can accommodate groups of passengers comfortably while maintaining safe social distancing measures, and we are ready and waiting to help. From school buses to leisure coaches to luxury corporate transport shuttles, the sheer range of vehicles we can collectively bring to bear means that we can be flexible enough to transport whoever needs it, when they need it.” 

The scheme is being trialled in London and the South East, and subject to government and business support, it may expand to other major cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.