Council drivers redeployed to help vulnerable residents

Council drivers redeployed to help vulnerable residents

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:20am 6th May 2020.

Dorset Council's Transport Team are helping the county's vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

With day centres closed, they have been redeployed to carry out vital tasks.

Drivers are delivering hot meals to residents and taking them to get essential care, which can't be brought to their homes. 

They are also playing a key role in transporting people home following a stay in temporary hotel accommodation after leaving hospital.

Hotel Rembrandt, Dorchester Road
Beds have been adapted for patients at The Hotel Rembrandt.

In one exceptional case, the travel team helped move a pregnant women on behalf of the Housing and Community Services Team.

Drivers are still helping key workers and getting SEN children to and from school.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, says: 

"A special thanks to all those involved in the co-ordinating and organising of our drivers and fleet to get patients home, sometimes with just 24-hours' notice.

"We're helping to protect our drivers by installing clear PVC trims inside the 40 vehicles being used and we've provided comprehensive guidelines to all our drivers on social distancing and other ways to ensure safe travel in our vehicles.

Peter Graham, protective bus trim, Mellor vehicle
Peter Graham with protective bus trim.

"With many of our drivers and passenger assistants falling into the high-risk category, we've been providing transport services with reduced staffing to further protect our workforce, and their families. It really is a team effort."

Dorset Council say they are "doing everything possible to maintain public transport services across the county." 

They are 'honouring tendered services' for public and school transport, as well as maintaining concessionary bus pass re-imbursement and providing grant support at the usual levels.