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In Passing

15 May 2020

LTT once heard a tale of a man who moved house by bus. Everything went well until he boarded a service with his TV set. “Sorry pal,” said the driver, “I can’t let you aboard, for all I know there could be a bomb in that.” So our enterprising mover returned home, wrapped the TV in a black plastic bin bag, and boarded the next service without incident. We were reminded of this story by a Dorset Council report explaining how officers have been helping people during the Covid-19 lockdown. “We used a bus to help a family move house in Dorchester yesterday,” they reported. “This was an unusual request for us but we’re more than willing to help someone in need.” 

Bus drivers in York are also finding gainful new employment (though, thankfully, the buses are not). A council paper reports: “Collaboration with bus operators has enabled some bus drivers to be retained and redeployed as refuse vehicle drivers, as the council has worked to prioritise household and recycling collections.”

News from London where the independent candidate for mayor Rory Stewart has pulled out the race. Stewart can’t afford to fund his campaign for another year following the postponement of this month’s election because of Covid-19. 

The DfT’s new guidance on road network management in response to Covid-19 encourages councils to introduce more ‘school streets’ – areas around schools where traffic is restricted at pick-up and drop-off times. One quibble: the guidance says school streets were “pioneered in London”. Is that really so? If LTT were asked, we’d venture Scotland. And if asked to be more precise we’d say Dundee. 

The Times columnist Matthew Parris has never rated Boris Johnson and last weekend he stuck the boot in over the PM’s handling of the Covid-19 epidemic. Illustrating his lack of suitability for high office, Parris cited Johnson’s performance at Prime Minister’s questions, writing: “Later, asked about public transport, Johnson started burbling about a new golden age of cycling. Rush-hour Tube trains carry more than a thousand passengers every two minutes.” And with that, Parris saw no need to say anything more.    

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