As we return to print after a pause of six months, we join Sir Peter Hendy in paying tribute to the dedication of passenger transport professionals

 
Facing up to the challenge: Govia Thameslink Railway’s St Albans station manger

 
It has been six long months since Passenger Transport was last published. We took the difficult decision back in March to pause our publication as the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic emerged. It was the right decision for the sustainability of this publication, but it was frustrating to sit on the sidelines as passive observers while the passenger transport sector faced its biggest ever challenge.

As we return to print and resume our previous fortnightly schedule, we wish to pay tribute to the bravery, sacrifice and bloody minded determination of the people who work in this sector. They kept vital public transport services running for NHS employees and other key workers, and the wider population. The pandemic has rocked the sector but surely no-one can be left with any doubts about the essential role that bus and rail services perform.

What we will need to rely on is both the continuing commitment of the workforce, who have done so well since March, and the ingenuity and expertise of industry leaders in facing what is undoubtedly the biggest challenge of any of our lifetimes

We asked Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy for his views on the sector’s response to the crisis. Hendy served nine years as Transport for London’s commissioner and is a long time champion of public transport. During the lockdown he appeared alongside the transport secretary at televised Downing Street briefings. “We must all be proud of our response to the pandemic back in March, and subsequently,” he told Passenger Transport.

Looking to the future, he added: “What we will need to rely on is both the continuing commitment of the workforce, who have done so well since March, and the ingenuity and expertise of industry leaders in facing what is undoubtedly the biggest challenge of any of our lifetimes.”

 
The full story appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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