Posted 20th April 2020 | No Comments

20 April: news in brief

British Transport Police officer falls victim to virus

A DETECTIVE Constable with British Transport Police in London has fallen victim to Covid 19. BTP have confirmed that John Coker, 53, died on Friday evening. Det. Con. Coker, who was based at Euston, had been admitted to hospital after first showing coronavirus symptoms on 22 March. Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: ‘My thoughts are with John’s family, for whom the last three weeks have been incredibly difficult and who will be struggling to deal with this most distressing outcome. Local colleagues have been in constant contact with John’s wife and will pass on the heartfelt condolences of us all. BTP will continue that support over the coming days, weeks and months. John has been part of the BTP family for over a decade and became a Detective Constable within the CID department at Euston where he was much loved and respected by all those he worked with. His colleagues remember a man who was charismatic, kind and thoughtful and took everything in his stride. He will be greatly missed by all in the Force.’

Transport watchdog chief asks if cash has had its day

THE use of cash is being discouraged by public transport operators as well as some high street shops, at least while the present emergency continues. But Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, is questioning whether cash will ever be welcome for train, tram or bus travel again. At least two franchises, Northern and South Western Railway, are no longer accepting cash at their ticket offices, while many ticket vending machines are also now card-only. Mr Smith said: ‘There is still a sizable minority of passengers who prefer to use cash or, in some cases, have no alternative. Some bus companies have already removed cash as an option and others are considering a move to “exact fare only” to reduce the risk. In the circumstances this is understandable. However, in other times, this is something Transport Focus would see as a passenger-unfriendly policy that makes using the bus less appealing. Is now the time to be leaving potentially vulnerable passengers without a way of travelling to essential appointments? When we are through this crisis will it ever again be possible to use cash to pay for a journey on public transport?’