National Express Accessible Transport recognised as UK Business Heroes by the British Chambers of Commerce
The British Chambers of Commerce launched a UK Business Heroes campaign to recognise the incredible work that businesses are doing, in the most challenging of years.
The Chamber has paid tribute to and recognised their contributions by giving them a UK Business Heroes stamp which demonstrates that that they have gone the extra mile to support their local community during the Coronavirus outbreak.
National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT) operates the Ring and Ride service on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM). Ring and Ride is a door-to-door transport service for anyone who lives in the West Midlands and finds it difficult to use conventional public transport.
During lockdown, many of the elderly and vulnerable customers who normally use Ring and Ride were advised to stay at home, meaning that NEAT had spare capacity.
They identified an opportunity to use their unused minibuses and drivers to help NHS staff during the pandemic.
After just a few weeks into lockdown, the entire operation pivoted to provide a 5 day a week, 7am – 10pm shuttle service from local tram and train stations to major hospitals.
Each minibus carried a maximum of two passengers to ensure social distancing, and was subject to National Express’ enhanced cleaning regimes, including overnight “fogging”: deep-cleaning the buses and disinfecting hard-to-reach areas with a high-performance antiviral solution.
Launched on 1 April 2020, National Express Accessible Transport carried nurses and other key health workers on over 20,000 trips from transport interchanges to hospitals in the West Midlands.
Corin Crane, CEO, Black Country Chamber of Commerce said:
“Congratulations to National Express Accessible Transport for keeping services running throughout the pandemic and overseeing 20,000+ trips, ensuring our key workers were transported safely to where they needed to be.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to provide additional travel support to so many of our frontline NHS staff during these difficult times.”
One of the regular shuttle service users said:
“To be honest, I haven't had a single driver who hasn't been awesome. Every single one I've met - they've all been amazing. “They've all asked me how my day was, and because they all knew where I work, if I looked like I'd had a particularly bad day, they tried to cheer me up. They've even sang for me. I can honestly say they have all been awesome!”
To read more about the British Chambers of Commerce UK Business Heroes campaign visit their dedicated website page here.