Your stories

Ruth, Birmingham

Ruth from Birmingham is an NHS keyworker who has continued travelling by public transport through the pandemic.

“I have never learnt to drive because I have epilepsy so I’ve always relied solely on public transport to get around. I usually switch between getting the bus and the train but during the pandemic the buses have been more frequent and reliable than the trains so I’ve mainly used the buses.

“During the pandemic the amount of people using public transport has dropped significantly as most people are staying at home and following lockdown rules, but this has also meant that the number of cars on the roads has dropped which is great for the environment.

“Hopefully when we reach some form of normality people will continue to leave their cars at home and use alternative forms of transport like buses and trains, helping to continue that positive impact on the environment and helping us enjoy cleaner air.

“I find that using public transport gives me some headspace and ‘downtime” before or after a long day at work. I can just sit there and switch off rather than having to concentrate on driving and potentially getting more stressed out because of traffic or other road users. It’s a small period of time during that day where I can have time to myself to reflect and process what has happened at work, so that when I get home my head is much clearer.”

Shuttle bus service for NHS keyworkers

“Since the start of the pandemic National Express Accessible Transport has been providing a shuttle bus service for NHS keyworkers between hospitals and local transport hubs and after a long day at work it’s good to know I won’t have to walk up a long steep hill to get the bus or train home.

“I have to say the biggest part of the shuttle service has been the incredible NEAT drivers. They’ve been fantastic. They have gotten to know us and it’s almost like they can tell if we’ve had a bad day, as they try to cheer us up.

“They’ve sung to me, talked absolute nonsense, and told me about their home improvement projects too. They have a great way of distracting us from the day’s events, just on that short journey from work to the station.

“I haven’t met a single member of the team that hasn’t been cheerful, tried to make us laugh or just been really lovely. The NEAT team is a very special team and I hope they all realise how much they are appreciated because they provide a wonderful service.”