Taxi and private hire drivers in Wales will be able to claim free PPE and vehicle cleaning material packs as part of a new scheme, funded by the Welsh Government.
The pack contains medical grade re-usable face coverings and hand sanitiser, as well as all-purpose sanitiser, cloths, wipes and gloves, allowing drivers to clean their cars between rides. Medical-grade face coverings have been chosen to provide enhanced protection over standard face coverings.
Ken Skates, minister for economy, transport and North Wales, said: “Details will be posted on the Welsh Government, WLGA and local authority websites, including how and where drivers can claim their free PPE kit. Every effort has been made to source products from local suppliers, including Rototherm in Margam and Bio Hygiene in Caerphilly.”
Each pack is worth £73.50, including free postage and packing. The packs, which are being put together by supplier Lyreco, will be delivered free of charge.
The Welsh Government recommends that drivers wear face coverings when transporting passengers, so long as it does not interfere with their ability to drive safely. The legal requirement for passengers to wear face coverings remains in place.
Skates added: “Taxis and private hire vehicles are an essential part of our public transport network and we appreciate the vital role drivers have played as frontline workers during this pandemic.
“We recognise drivers are keen to make their vehicles as safe, clean and hygienic as possible, and these packs will contribute to the ongoing efforts they are making. We’ve worked closely with Lyreco and the Welsh Government Local Government Association to develop this initiative and thank them both for their efforts.”
Russell George, the Welsh Conservatives’ spokesman for transport, said: “It’s about time this sector was brought into closer alignment with other public transport operators in Wales. Despite a downturn in taxi and other journeys caused by the pandemic, the 74,100 licensed operators in Wales and those they transport will welcome this decision.”
He added: “Such a scheme, if implemented properly, will come at a considerable cost and ministers must ensure they are in a position to deliver, in full, on this promise.”