Transport providers across the north-east are doing their bit to help frontline workers beat coronavirus.
NHS staff travelling to and from work are being offered discounts, while bus companies are making changes to timetables and laying on larger vehicles to ensure they are able to travel.
Liam Walker, who owns Westhill Taxis and Banchory Taxis, is offering a 40% discount to healthcare workers travelling to and from their places of work.
He said: “The NHS are doing a really good job. They are doing everything they can with limited resources and they are doing a sterling job.
“We wanted to do something to say thank you and make their lives a bit easier in terms of getting them to and from work.
“By offering a discount we are making it a bit more affordable for them.
“It also keeps my drivers in a job. They are able to get fares here and there, and something in the pot is better than nothing.”
Meanwhile, Stagecoach Bluebird has announced changes to its timetable to co-ordinate with shift changeover times at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Services 37, 59 and 727 will all be changed from Monday, along with 7B, with the aim of providing more peak-time connections to Badentoy Park.
Peter Knight, managing director for Stagecoach Bluebird, said: “We have been analysing feedback received from customers since initially reducing our timetables on March 23 and whilst the changes we are introducing from Monday April 6 are relatively minor, we know they will make a big difference to those who are reliant on the bus for their commute to work.
“We have worked hard with our temporary timetables to ensure that we are continuing to serve critical routes.
“If our customers feel we haven’t got things quite right, then we’d really like to receive any comments through our dedicated feedback form, which can be found at stagecoachbus.com”
And First Aberdeen has announced service 3 from Cove serving ARI will now operate a double-decker to increase capacity.
First Aberdeen commercial director Graeme McFarlan said: “We received feedback from a number of customers about capacity issues on early morning trips on the number 3 service, so we have now allocated a double-decker to these journeys to support key workers who use this service for essential journeys whilst following guidelines on social distancing.
“We are proud of all the key workers including our very own bus drivers. They play their own vital role in the national effort to combat coronavirus, providing the emergency network that key workers rely on to move about.”
Midstocket and Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie, who raised the issue, said: “It’s good they have taken this big step to help the key workers.”