London’s generous gift: buses instead of missiles

9:40 09.09.2023 •

Bendy buses from Luton Airport are driven to Ukraine to transport soldiers from the most dangerous war zones, ‘The Daily Mail’ informs.

Ukraine has received three Luton Airport (near London) bendy buses from Britain to help support its ongoing efforts to repel the Russian invasion.

The retired shuttle buses, still branded with airport livery, are now being used as humanitarian transport for frontline soldiers.

One of the Luton airport buses was sent to Ukraine a couple of months ago, Go-Ahead told MailOnline.

The other three followed in mid-August, taking four days to make the journey to across the continent, from Calais to Ukraine.

A Go-Ahead Group spokesperson said: 'These buses have done years of duty shuttling holidaymakers up and down a steep hill at Luton Airport.

'They're now retired from airport duty and we're glad they can be put to good use, as a small contribution to Ukraine's war effort.'

Mike Bowden, Chair of the Swindon Humanitarian Aid Partnership, said: 'Our role is to bring together the very generous public spirit in this country and get what we can out to Ukraine as quickly as possible.

Mr Bowden hopes to raise £100,000 to send up to 40 retired buses to Ukraine.

He told MailOnline: 'We have been promised dozens of single decker buses.

'Some will be converted into mobile field hospitals, children’s story buses etc. Some will be retained for traditional transport and all will be delivered to Ukraine for use by both civilian and army personnel.

'The converted bus was formally handed over to the Ukrainian Ambassador outside the Palace of Westminster with many senior Parliamentarians present.

Social media users took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the donation of the Luton buses:

Workers at a munitions plant that supplies Ukraine with missiles are going on strike for two weeks in an escalating dispute over pay and bonuses, The Guardian wrote earlier.

Nearly 50 workers who handle and load missiles at the defence munitions plant at Beith, in Ayrshire, allege they have been significantly short-changed by a pay and bonuses deal given to rocket-assembly staff at the plant.

The Beith site assembles and distributes the Storm Shadow and Brimstone missiles being sent to Ukraine by the Ministry of Defence, which said the strikes would not affect supplies for the war.

The MoD said contingency plans were in place to ensure the two-week strike would not disrupt the plant’s operations.

Mark Francois, the Tory MP who led the defence select committee at the House of Commons’ inquiry, said the MoD’s defence procurement systems were “broken” and in need of wholesale reform, a change made more acute and pressing by the war in Ukraine.

His complaints were rejected by the MoD, which said ministers were spending an extra £5bn over the next two years “to improve readiness and resilience”.


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