Taxi firm to install protective plastic screens in 250 cars
PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 15 May 2020
A Norwich taxi firm has been given the go-ahead to install protective screens in additional safety measures for drivers and customers.
ABC Taxis Norwich was given permission by Norwich City Council on Thursday and will fit the screens in its 250 strong fleet.
The company took the decision following the government’s announcement on Sunday that those who are unable to work from home should start returning if safe to do so from Wednesday and if possible avoid public transport.
Chris Harvey, from ABC Taxis Norwich, said: “We believe this to be a great step forward in the protection of our customers and drivers against the Covid_19 pandemic.
“Our hope is with many people now being advised to go back to work, if they can’t work from home and not to travel using public transport, that this will give them the confidence they need to travel.
“The screens are a universal fit, they go all the way across so if someone coughs in the back it is about blocking it.
“We aim to get it out to all the cars over the next few weeks.”
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The thick plastic will create a barrier between the driver and customer to prevent any potential virus or germs spreading.
Customers will be able to pay their fare through a little slit in the screen.
Measures already in place are gloves for the driver and extra disinfectant equipment to be used in the car after every journey.
Once a week, vehicles are fogged to coat the car with disinfectant layers which will last for up to 72 hours.
Mr Harvey said for some people taxis were the only option if they worked outside the city at sites such as the hospital, due to the advice to avoid public transport.
Before the pandemic, the company was carrying out up to 26,000 jobs a week, which has fallen to around 6,500.
Mr Harvey said: We are still doing quite a few jobs a week. We have been hit but with this news coming of people going back to work . The drivers are doing an amazing job putting themselves forward, there is a risk and it has been reported they are vulnerable like other professions.
“We were really keen to get these screens installed. It gives them the confidence to travel again.
“All businesses are going to have to put measures in place so we can all get back to some sort of normality.”
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