02:22PM, Friday 15 May 2020
Stock image of taxis
The council has thrown its support behind a new initiative for taxis and private hire vehicles to install a plastic screen between the driver and passengers to protect all residents when travelling in the future.
Polycarbonate clear screens are being recommended by the licensed vehicle governing bodies for the safety of taxi drivers, the private hire workforce and their passengers.
A spokesman for National Private Hire and Taxi Association, the NPHTA, said: “We believe the installation of a protection screen between the front and back compartment of the vehicle, of similar standards to that seen in a purpose built hackney carriage, combined with the wearing of PPE facemasks and observing the extensive cleaning protocols, offers the best possible form of protection.
“This approach will also boost the public’s confidence in making use of those services again.
“It is hoped that eventually, the general public will be transportable by taxi and private hire vehicles once again in a more normal fashion and volume. The only way this can happen is by boosting the confidence they have in entering and using all types of licensed vehicles; we must be seen to do anything within our power to achieve this.”
Cllr Pavitar K. Mann, Slough cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “COVID-19 is not a short term pandemic and the council has taken the decision screens are a benefit if added to a vehicle.
“However, licence holders must have them professionally installed and the screens must be of the right quality so residents have confidence using licensed vehicles.
“Drivers are reminded to deep clean vehicles regularly and as this virus is transmitted by droplets from coughs and sneezes.
“The council appreciates there are costs involved for the drivers, but the safety of drivers and passengers is paramount.”
The council recommends drivers contact their insurer prior to any installation and all installations are carried out by trained professionals with verified polycarbonate units which can cost up to £500.
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