Burnley Council has secured funding to fit protective screens inside private hire vehicles in the town. The funding is part of its overall Covid-19 response to supporting local businesses, and includes the cost of the screen and fitting.
The screens will be restricted to saloon and estate cars. Minibuses are not currently included; however, this will be the subject of further review. The equipment is only available to private hire vehicles currently licenced by the council. Hackney carriages already have screens between the driver and passengers installed.
Cllr Afrasiab Anwar, the council’s executive member for community and environmental services, said: “Protective screens are yet another measure that not only protect passengers, but also drivers who are placing themselves at significant infection risk and have played a vital role in their continued efforts in providing a means of transport to the general public throughout the pandemic.”
He continued: “These screens will help passengers feel more secure when they use private hire cars for essential journeys. We’re working with private hire operators to encourage them to install this equipment, at no cost to themselves.”
The screens will be fitted by Licensing4U, a local company that has already provided this service for a number of other local authorities. Booking should be made directly with Licensing4U and not through the council’s licensing team.
The council has contacted local private hire operators with information on who to get the screens fitted, free of charge. Taxi operators are also being encouraged to apply for Government grant support aimed at helping businesses through the Covid pandemic.
The grant support is through the additional restrictions grant (category 9 for hackney and private hire drivers, and category 8 for operators). Details on the additional restrictions grant are available at www.burnley.gov.uk/business