A free shuttle bus service for NHS and social care staff has been launched in the West Midlands.
The buses, which are being operated by National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT) under contract from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), will ferry NHS staff from car parks and transport hubs to the region’s major hospitals.
The service started yesterday (1 April) and hospitals and medical facilities served include: Russells Hall, Dudley, Walsall Manor, Wolverhampton New Cross, Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham Dental Hospital, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Northfield, Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield and City Hospital, Birmingham.
Each minibus will carry a maximum of two passengers to ensure social distancing is maintained.
Busy locations will have six minibuses on a continuous circuit between the hospital and designated car park.
The service will be regularly reviewed and adapted to meet the needs of NHS staff.
‘Our NHS workers are on the frontline in these incredibly challenging and difficult times, and we should be doing all we can to support them,’ said West Midlands mayor, Andy Street.
‘Not only has Transport for West Midlands been able to keep the public transport system running so NHS staff and other key workers can continue to get to work, but now we are re-deploying Ring and Ride services to provide a further mode of transport for NHS workers and hospital staff.
‘On behalf of everyone at TfWM and the WMCA I want to say a massive thank you to our incredible NHS staff who are working around the clock in these unprecedented circumstances.’
Birmingham City Council leader, Cllr Ian Ward, added: ‘Last week we applauded our NHS heroes who every day put themselves at risk to keep the rest of us safe but we also need to offer them practical help and this shuttle service is one way we at TfWM can support them to continue doing such a fantastic job.’
For a full list and service times visit the website – wmnetwork.co.uk/nhstravel
Photo Credit – West Midlands Combined Authority