Electric buses funded by SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund have been used to transport vulnerable people across Glasgow to their essential Covid-19 vaccination appointments.
The two electric buses had been provided for use on the Riverside 100 bus route, which is popular with visitors to the city’s Riverside transport museum. However, with that service suspended during the current lockdown restrictions and the museum’s temporary closure, the council is instead utilising the all-electric vehicles to help vulnerable people attend critical Covid-19 vaccine appointments.
The Green Economy Fund also directly funded Community Transport Glasgow’s five 100% electric minibuses and two fully electric people carriers, which have also been re-deployed alongside the council’s buses to assist the city’s elderly and vulnerable attending their vaccination appointments.
Nearly 50% of Glasgow residents do not have access to a private vehicle and to support the city’s vaccine rollout, those in need can call the Traveline Scotland number where they will be redirected to Glasgow City Council and Community Transport Glasgow for anyone unable to access public transport.
Margaret Fisher, 72, who benefitted from the Community Transport Glasgow vaccine shuttle service, said: “When I received my invitation to have the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine I was uneasy as I didn’t know where the vaccine centre was, I have never been to that side of the city and I have been avoiding public transport in line with government guidelines.
“Luckily, my granddaughter helped me get in touch with Community Transport Glasgow who arranged my transport for me. It really helped put my mind at ease knowing they had a dedicated service for those who need it. It was my first time in an electric vehicle, and I enjoyed it.
“The very nice driver collected me from my home in an electric minibus and drove me to the vaccine centre and then dropped me back home. I would highly recommend it to anybody feeling unsure about where they’re going or unable to travel to contact them straight away. It’s an excellent service and the driver was incredibly friendly.”
Andy Waddell, Director of Operations, Glasgow City Council, said: “We’re committed to helping the NHS roll-out Glasgow’s vaccine programme in a safe and efficient way. While the Riverside 100 route is not in service due to lockdown restrictions, the buses that provide the service are not sitting idle. We have re-deployed them along with other electric transport solutions to help the most vulnerable in our community. The backing of SP Energy Networks has helped to ensure the Riverside 100 buses are part of the effort to decarbonise the city’s transport system as well as supporting Glasgow’s recovery from the covid pandemic.”
Graham Dunn, Manager at Community Transport Glasgow, said: “Everyone at Community Transport Glasgow is proud to support the community during these tough times. The national vaccine rollout is a massive step forward and ensuring vulnerable people in our community can safely attend their appointments is a priority for us. Using funding from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund, we’re playing our part in protecting the environment and supporting the NHS.”
Frank Mitchell, Chief Executive of SP Energy Networks, said: “We are committed to finding innovative ways to support the communities we serve during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re proud to have funded an electric fleet that supports the decarbonisation of transport in Glasgow and I’m delighted to see it being used to helping some of our more vulnerable people access appointments for crucial vaccinations.”