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COVID NEWS


HOW TAXI AND PH DRIVERS ARE HELPING IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID IN CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER


Cheshire West and Chester Council licensed taxi and PH drivers are being invited to showcase how they are driving Covid-19 safety, reports The Standard. They are being invited to sign up to the council’s ‘Driving Covid-19 Safety’ standard and show that they are taking measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and keep themselves and their passen- gers safe. Funding and support is available for those licensed drivers who sign up. To achieve the standard, taxi and PHV drivers must agree to meet a series of criteria: These include: • the installation of a safe screen in the licensed vehicle to separate the front and rear compartments (if they do not already have one), funded by the Council (see below)


• making hand sanitiser available for driver and passengers • avoiding the use of the front passenger seat if possible, and ensuring spare face coverings are available


• cleaning touch points regularly throughout a shift, followed by a thorough clean between shifts


• maintaining good ventilation in the vehicle • drivers taking a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) twice a week


• drivers refusing entry to passengers who have tested positive for or shown any Covid symptoms in the past ten days


• drivers keeping up to date with current Covid guidance and best practice.


The council has secured funding to support Covid-safety, enabling it to award all participating drivers £180 to help them meet the standard and cover the cost of materials. They will also receive a ‘Driving Covid-19 Safety’ certificate and a sticker to display in their vehicles. The installation of new Covid-safe screens will also be cov- ered by the funds secured by the council. In addition, any screens already installed will be inspected and, if they do not meet the specification and funding allows, the cost of a replacement screen will be covered by the council. The council will also aim to reimburse drivers who have already had a screen fitted that meets the specification, as funding allows and on a case-by-case basis. For more information visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/drivingcovidsafety


DRAGON TAXIS HIKE FARES IN NEWPORT AND TORFAEN TO ATTRACT DRIVERS


Dragon Taxis has announced that it has increased the fares for peak times in Newport and Torfaen. The South Wales Argus reports that the move is to encourage more drivers to work for the firm after a number of com- plaints about there not being enough taxis available. Regional director for Dragon Taxis, Jack Price, gave the following statement: “Anyone who has booked a taxi in New- port and Torfaen recently will have experienced delays. “The pandemic has resulted in a grave shortage in licensed taxi drivers – some drivers have yet to return, some drivers are driving less and some have left the profession entirely. “As drivers are self-employed, we must not forget that the fares they take are their income which was also decimated by Covid, this increase will go directly to them. Please note that fares have not materially changed for over a decade. “As a licensed operator, we take our responsibilities to the local community very seriously and we want to ensure that more drivers are available to take journeys. We want to be able to get the local residents to places on time, without delays. “Fares for Dragon journeys during peak times in Newport and Torfaen have therefore been increased – this is to try and boost the number of driver partners available. “The driver partners perform an important service, and we hope that our community will see this as a necessary step to get things back to normal.”


24 SEPTEMBER 2021


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