Coronavirus: NHS workers offered free cars and bikes to keep them safe during outbreak – Sky News

NHS workers are being offered free cars and bikes to help them get to work.

Many frontline staff had expressed concern they could be infected on crowded public transport so several British companies have offered to help keep them safe.

Brompton Bikes have set up a bike hire scheme free of charge for key NHS workers.

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Hundreds of healthcare staff across the UK have registered, and the company anticipates up to a thousand bikes could be loaned out.

Managing director of Brompton Bike Hire, Julian Scriven, described the feedback he’d received as “heart-warming”.

Mr Scriven told Sky News: “At the moment trying to keep the country moving is important and if we’re thinking long-term as a business, surely getting everyone past COVID-19 as smoothly as possible, keeping the NHS up, is by far the most important business priority we could have.”

The scheme is already being used by staff at several London hospitals, including St Bartholomew’s.

Chief cardiac physiologist Zoe Carter has recently signed up. She said: “Since the COVID crisis started my biggest fear was my travel to work on the Tube due to the risk of getting an infection from there. The roads are quiet and I’m managing to exercise before and after a busy day at work.”

Cardiac centre general manager Jonathan Kelly helped set the scheme up. He said: “It’s helping a lot of staff here, it’s helping a lot of staff across London. I think over 200 staff are using it. And for staff who live further afield I think the free parking has helped get staff in without having to use the crowded tubes.”

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The government came under pressure after 400,000 people signed a petition to scrap hospital parking charges for frontline NHS staff.

In Wales, all NHS staff have been offered free rail travel to help them get to work more easily.

Across the UK, British transport companies have been doing their bit to help healthcare workers.

MG Motor UK have offered 100 electric cars on free loans for up to six months for frontline NHS staff.

Daniel Gregorious, head of sales and marketing at MG Motor UK, said: “As a proud British brand, MG is more than just a car manufacturer. Together with our dealer network, we want to do our bit to help the country to come through this uncertain time.”

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The company has already sent out cars to staff in South Wales and South Cumbria.

Jaguar Land Rover is another company keen to help.

In partnership with the Red Cross they have deployed vehicles around the world including the UK.

The firm has also donated protective equipment including glasswear to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

JLR’s marketing director, Finbar McFall, told Sky News they were keen to use fleet vehicles which were currently unable to operate. “We wanted to say a heartfelt thank-you to all those brave men and women in the NHS and those charities and emergency services who are now in the frontline in the battle against this virus. We are hugely grateful.”


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