Go North East, the region’s largest bus company, has offered its services to help with the BeatCovidNE campaign that’s driven by the North East’s local authorities.
One of the 10 individuals that has been selected to be part of LA7’s campaign is Go North East bus driver Jaswinder Singh.
Jaswinder, or Jas as he’s known to his friends, can often be seen driving bus routes around Sunderland and County Durham.
He has been selected as the representative for County Durham, and lives in Seaham with his wife Kamal and six-year-old son Mann. He is a huge football fan and enjoys cycling along the seafront and trips to the park with his family.
As part of the campaign, Jas and five other North East people are writing their own COVID diaries, sharing their experiences on lockdown life, why it’s so important to follow the rules, and how months of tough restrictions have affected them and their families.
Jas, commenting on adjustments to working life, said: “It was so strange seeing all the passengers on the bus in masks at first, but it is so normal and part of everyday life now. People are really good about keeping a distance on the buses and we have lots of information on board to remind people about hands, space, face.
“It’s really important that the message continues to be heard, especially on public transport, because this isn’t over yet – I wish it was. The buses are subject to a strict cleaning regime so they are COVID-secure, but we’ve all got to do our bit to stay safe.”
Martijn Gilbert, managing director at Go North East, said: “We’re delighted to be involved with the campaign and we’re so proud of how Jas is helping drive home an important message to the people of the North East.
“Colleagues like Jas are doing exceptional work, day in day out, to ensure that essential services such as buses are clean, safe and continue to be available for those who need to use them. We have adopted extra cleaning and safety measures, but it’s really important that everyone plays their part in helping to beat the virus and keep us all safe.
“When using a bus you must wear a face covering, unless you have a valid exemption, maintain social distancing and we ask that you sanitise your hands before and after travelling, as well as ideally paying for your ticket with a contactless bankcard or through our smartphone app. Do not travel if you feel unwell.”
Head to beatcovidne.co.uk to watch videos and hear more about the stories of people from the North East.