Blackburn with Darwen Council in Lancashire has invested £64,000 to fit perspex screens in all of the borough’s 1,000 licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in a bid to protect drivers from the Covid-19 virus.
The project has been backed by Pennine Lancashire licensing officers and Directors of Public Health from across Lancashire. Taxi drivers from a BAME background have been identified as an ‘at-risk’ group, so this targeted intervention has been designed to reduce their likely rate of exposure to Coronavirus as well as the potential to transmit the virus to their customers.
The Council will fund the initial purchase and installation of screens with drivers responsible for replacements as and when necessary. The Council is also promoting Covid-safe practices, encouraging taxi drivers to make use of the offer of getting tested in the borough either via the mobile testing unit or the regional testing unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Cllr Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “This is a good move for the safety of both drivers and passengers and will help to reduce transmission of coronavirus. The screens are likely to provide added benefit, especially when coupled with the usage of face coverings.”