26 May 2020
Addison Lee and Uber To Install Partition Screens In Vehicles
Uber, as well as London-based private hire and courier Addison Lee, plan to install partition screens in their cabs in a bid to prevent coronavirus infections between drivers and passengers. This comes after it was revealed that taxi drivers are among those at the highest risk of death from the disease.
Addison Lee claims to be the first industry to make such a move. The company announced they will be fitting screens into all 4000 vehicles in their fleet. Meanwhile, Uber has announced they will add partition screens in 400 of its drivers’ cars in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunderland and Durham, in order to “build a better understanding of how people can travel from A to B as safely as possible.”
It is understood that the move to add partition screens will likely cost the companies up to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The news comes after it has been emerged that three drivers from Addison Lee, as well as at least three from Uber, have sadly died from the virus.
The screens in Uber’s vehicles will be installed by the AA motoring group. Each car will also receive a deep cleansing and sanitisation, in line with the advice and guidance issued by the Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham city councils.
The news comes as the lockdown eases and commuters start to travel back to work. As more and more people return to the streets, demand for taxis and private hire vehicles is likely to soar.
London’s 21,000 black cabs all have partition screens between the drivers and passengers, but the majority of private hire vehicles and minicabs do not.
Work on installing the screens to Addison Lee’s fleet is expected to start next week, with screens expected to be installed in all their vehicles by the end of May. The design has been shared with Transport for London (TfL), with each screen being flame-retardant and shatter-proof.
Liam Griffin, Addison Lee’s chief executive, said: “If London is to gradually get moving again as the government adjusts its advice, it is vital to ensure that the public transport network is not overwhelmed, and that people have a clean and safe way to travel as they go back to work. This represents an enormous challenge for policymakers, business and commuters in the capital.”
“Private hire vehicle (PHV) passenger services with strong safety and environmental standards are vital to ensuring individual car users do not swamp London’s roads, as has been seen in other countries where lockdowns have lifted.”
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