Addison Lee and Ford Motor Company are launching new safety screens for the Ford Galaxy, which have undergone comprehensive testing to meet all of Transport for London’s (TfL) private hire regulations.
According to sources, Ford’s designers have used a material that complies with all regulations set out by TfL. The screen allows for clear rearward vision when the driver is using interior rear-view mirror; communication between driver and passengers; and does not interfere with vehicle safety features, such as driver, passenger and curtain air bags.
These screens are being installed by Addison Lee’s qualified technicians, and drivers are being given clear guidance on how to maintain and sanitise the screens. Installation is already underway, with all Ford Galaxy models in Addison Lee’s fleet anticipated to have screens fitted by the end of September.
Addison Lee carries nearly 7 million passengers across the capital every year in its 4,000 strong fleet.
The new model of screen is the most recent measure taken by Addison Lee as part of its Safer Journey Initiative. The initiative has so far provided drivers with personal protective equipment; regular electrostatic disinfection of vehicles and facilitating social distancing using the rear seats of its seven-seater vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Ford Galaxy screens come soon after Ford's commercial vehicle operators were offered protection shields for the Transit range, which also double up as a full-time workspace for many customers.
Liam Griffin, CEO, Addison Lee, Said: ‘‘Addison Lee is proud to partner with Ford Motor Company to enhance the safety of drivers and passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked together to design, manufacture and fit a safety screen that will add an extra layer of reassurance for commuters starting to return to work and for employers who want to offer staff a flexible and safe way to travel.
“Safety screens have been a challenging issue for the PHV industry over the last six months and we are pleased that, by working in collaboration with a close partner of ours, we have been able to find a solution that satisfies the regulator and enhances everyone’s safety.”
Neil Wilson, Fleet Director, Ford of Britain, said: “Private Hire Vehicle customers have faced unprecedented challenges in 2020 and are adapting to the new norms. Our screens provide additional support as passengers and drivers continue to operate in challenging circumstances, offering additional peace of mind as they work and travel.”