Reading transport service ReadiBus has won the award for the best pandemic provisions in England at the Community Transport Awards 2021.

Judged on its actions during the difficult 18 months of the Covid pandemic, it was runner-up in the UK-wide award, but victorious in the England category.

ReadiBus have been providing transport services to the people of Reading, and surrounding areas, for more than 40 years.

Throughout the pandemic, the ReadiBus service has provided a safe means for elderly, disabled and clinically vulnerable people to make essential journeys, whether this has been for food shopping, medical appointments, respite or any other reason.

 ReadiBus has also worked alongside the South-Central Ambulance Service to enable local people to safely get to non-Covid-related hospital appointments, such as for cancer treatment and dialysis.

Nearly 60,000 safe essential journeys have been made on ReadiBus since the start of the first lockdown, including over 2,000 journeys during the first lockdown in 2020.

As well as giving people the means to make the essential journeys safely, the ReadiBus team also made hundreds of calls to people who were on their own to check they were OK.

Chief Executive of the Community Transport Association, Bill Freeman, offered his “huge congratulations for the incredible work over the last year and a half.”

General Manager of ReadiBus, Peter Absolon, said: “‘I am delighted that our team have received this recognition at the CT Awards.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of community transport service providers in the four nations of the UK, all doing wonderful work, and for the ReadiBus team to be recognised in this way for service provided during such a challenging time as this pandemic is quite something.

“ReadiBus staff showed great commitment to keep the service available and to ensure that it was safe, especially during the first lockdown.

“I am so proud of what we did and what we achieved together.”

Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport at Reading Borough Council, Cllr Tony Page, added: “This is another well-deserved national accolade for Reading’s ReadiBus service which provides a lifeline for so many people.

“The value of ReadiBus has particularly come to the fore throughout the health emergency and my huge congratulations go to everyone at ReadiBus.”