Praise for the UK’s bus workers 05/05/2020

Martin Harris, Managing Director Brighton and Hove buses, writes a blog post for CPT about bus worker support day, which is taking place today.

Bus workers have played a crucial role during the coronavirus crisis. If not always considered right on the frontline next to NHS and care staff, they have been pretty close to it. Movement across the UK has been restricted, but buses continue to help key workers make their journeys to and from work, and for those who rely on bus travel to make essential journeys. When people get on the bus the first person they see is the bus driver, and I am incredibly proud of the dedication our bus drivers have shown in keeping the country moving. And of the commitment they have made despite the potential for risk to themselves and their families that comes with being a member of our proud nation's army of key workers. What people also see on the bus is the result of an enhanced cleaning regime and the product of equally dedicated teams of cleaners and the result of the efforts of all the workers behind the scenes, the schedulers engineers and operational support teams, all playing an equally vital role in keeping buses safe, clean and serving our communities.

As managing director at Brighton & Hove and Metrobus I am today taking great pleasure and pride in thanking every single worker across the country, including all those drivers, engineers, cleaners and transport managers, who are playing their part so admirably in the nation' battle against coronavirus and who will be fundamental to aiding the country's recovery process by keeping the buses on the roads in the service of our communities. This support day is a fantastic opportunity to recognise their efforts. Whether through creating safety videos for passengers or adjusting services to suit the needs of key workers, or those many simple individual acts of thoughtfulness and kindness in aiding the vulnerable members of our communities, I am hugely impressed, and indeed humbled, by how they are going above and beyond to cater to the needs of the community.

When lockdown measures begin to be lifted, I know my team will be hard at work adjusting timetables, getting buses back on the roads, and maintaining high levels of cleanliness to keep drivers and passengers safe and confident they can return to their bus and start making that journey back through recovery and towards a more normal way of life. The crisis has changed some people's views of the value of our key workers. Many of us never had any doubts. My hope is that going forwards, everyone will continue to show their support and give deserved recognition to all our bus workers, long after this is all over.