A COACH firm has launched a not-for-profit transport scheme to help people get their Covid vaccinations.

Barnes Coaches will use its fleet of minibuses to help get people to where they need to for their vital jab.

The service is priced at £24 including VAT but is designed not to make a profit for the Woodside Road company.

Director at the firm Matt Barnes said: “It really feels now that life can’t get 'back to normal' until the vaccination programme has got through a good percentage of the population.

“We, as much as everyone, want this to happen as quickly as possible so looking to do anything we can to make the process as safe and as easy as possible for everyone.

“We have large minibuses not currently being used and drivers who are on flexible furlough keen to work.

“The large minibuses allow plenty of distancing and drivers are DBS checked for your peace of mind.

“We have priced this not to make a profit but to hopefully make the process a little easier, so that we can get back to what we do best, taking people on days out and holidays around the country and Europe.”

The service includes home pick-up and travel to the location where the driver will wait before making the rerurn journey.

Onboard safety measures that Barnes has already put in place will still be in place, including wearing a face covering. Drivers will be wearing masks.

Mr Barnes is hoping to see a boom in people wanting to take trips with the company later this year.

He said: “This year’s the same as last year at the moment but hopefully it’ll change at some point.

“The vaccine is make or break. Once that’s happened hopefully people will start to come back.

“We won’t be able to run this month or next so April is the good point to aim for, to really get back to full capacity.

“It’s going to be a slow start, holidays and day trips will be fine because we’ll socially distant onboard and only go to hotels that follow the regulations.

“But taking people to sports events and concerts will probably be reduced capacity so that’ll have an impact.”

Mr Barnes added his reassurances to people who might be worried about taking public transport anywhere.

He said: “We ask people to wear masks onboard, the driver and passengers, unless you’re medically exempt.

“We have rows of seats empty down the coach and air filtration systems to keep people as safe as possible.”