Black cabs in London set for COVID-killing ‘electrostatic’ clean to mark lockdown easement

Updated: Apr 11

Hundreds of London black cabs are set to descend on a historic cab shelter in Russell Square on Monday for a free, covid-killing “electrostatic” clean to celebrate the day much of the capital reopens for business.

A team of cleaning specialists from iPurus will be sanitising vehicles between 12.00 noon and 3.00pm on 12 April, using electronic spray guns and non-toxic ‘grenades' of hospital-grade detergent in order to give London's cabbies the most hygienic start to the second phase of lockdown easing.

The cleaning will be provided to drivers free of charge thanks to funding from the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), the largest trade body representing London’s black cab drivers and ComCab – operator of one of London’s largest black cab fleets.

London’s self-employed taxi drivers and taxi fleets have been some of the hardest hit businesses during the pandemic. Many drivers have been forced to take their cabs off the road, and those who have been out working have struggled to find fares – earning just 20-30% of their usual income, as passenger demand collapsed.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this important event and help hard working drivers get back to work.

“Many cabbies have been at the forefront of helping those battling Covid – transferring patients and staff to and from hospitals and helping to keep businesses functioning in difficult times using their purpose-built vehicles with the fixed partition, easy to clean interior and contactless payment facilities to keep passengers as safe as possible.

“This specialist cleaning will help to make black cabs even safer and give passengers added reassurance of knowing they can get where they are going safely and efficiently.”

Jan Kozlowski, Director of Operations at ComCab said: “At ComCab, we are proud to be partnered with iPurus to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all drivers and passenger during this difficult time. It is of upmost importance that during these tough measures that we are facing, we continue to stick together as pillars of strength to support one another and our community.

“The drivers on the ComCab circuit have done their absolute best to keep London moving. We have pivoted to transport key workers, make medical supply deliveries, including equipment to measure oxygen levels for Covid -19 patients, to collect prescriptions and to drop off food packages for those in need.

“As restrictions lift, we understand the importance of continuing to provide a safe and secure transportation service. Participating in sanitising events such as these with iPurus and having invested in specialist cleaning equipment at our Head Office, we have the confidence to know that our passengers and drivers can always travel to any destination safely.”

HQ for the day's activities will be the historic cabman's shelter in Russell Square – one of 13 green shelters across the city which appropriately were set up to look after Victorian London's vast fleet of hansom cab drivers.