By Tony Winterburn • 25 April 2020 • 7:28
TRANSPORT secretary Grant Shapps said in a Downing Street coronavirus briefing that there were ‘tentative signs’ that progress is being made in the fight against the virus. He said that transport routes were a ‘critically important’ part of the response and announced a new support package to ensure freight routes bringing essential goods into the UK remain open.
He went on to say: “Earlier this year we awarded £28 million to Southampton and Portsmouth to deliver a future transport zone, as part of that initiative £8 million was earmarked for testing drones and how they might be used to deliver goods in the years and decades ahead.
“Of course, now we have an urgent need, so we’re making use of that testing programme as part of our response to Covid-19, I’ve fast-tracked trials to begin next week to carry equipment and supplies to St Mary’s Hospital near Newport on the Isle of Wight.”
He paid tribute earlier to the work of transport workers who have gone “above and beyond to keep vital freight and passenger services running.” Mr Shapps added: “The actions I have announced today will ensure that transport can continue to serve the nation during this crisis, keep us supplied with everything we need to stay at home, yet also ensure that infrastructure required to emerge from this pandemic stands ready to serve us all when that time does arise.”
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