Press release -
Thameslink supports community vaccination drives at Elstree and Harpenden
Rail operator Thameslink is supporting community Covid vaccination campaigns by making space available for free in its station car parks at Harpenden and Elstree for drivers giving lifts to the elderly and vulnerable arriving for their jabs - and for volunteers and staff.
Station car parks are mostly empty because people are heeding government lockdown advice to stay at home where possible. They are also often well situated in the heart of their communities and well-suited as somewhere to park or wait.
The Harpenden Trust, a long-established local community charity, is supporting Harpenden’s three local GP practices – Davenport House, the Elms Medical Practice and the Village Surgery – to deliver the vaccination programme at The Harpenden Public Halls, a moment’s walk from the town train station.
Some 600 local volunteers have already come forward to manage the administrative and marshalling activities and Thameslink was quick to offer its support as well, when it was approached by the trust.
Harpenden station car park (download below)
Meanwhile, at Elstree, the local Clinical Commissioning Group approached Thameslink through the Town Council and Communities 1st, looking for parking space for staff and volunteers. Spaces in Elstree & Borehamwood station car park will free up the community hall at neighbouring Allum Manor where the local vaccine hub for the whole of Hertsmere has been set up.
Thameslink Managing Director Tom Moran said: “Our teams have been working throughout this pandemic to support our local communities, and keep services clean, safe and operating. I’m delighted that we can now provide practical support to this crucial mass vaccination effort.”
Richard Nichols, Chairman of Harpenden Trust, said: “By supporting our GPs and the NHS in this critical activity, Thameslink is helping us to get more people vaccinated, more swiftly, to allow the nation to get back to work – and ultimately back on our trains!”
Cllr Pat Strack, leader of Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council, said: "Getting the use of these parking spaces so swiftly is a measure of the goodwill that we have with so many partners in the town, including Thameslink. This greatly benefits our residents.
"We are delighted that Allum Manor was chosen to be the local hub for the whole of Hertsmere. Allum Manor trustees have worked hard to ensure that everything runs efficiently and smoothly. The Allum Manor staff have been able to put residents at ease and that is thanks to the leadership of centre manager Tony Battison."
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria