Black cabs are a ‘fantastic service’ and ‘can certainly rise to the challenge’ of COVID-19 says PM

Black cabs are a "fantastic service" and "can certainly rise to the challenge" of the COVID-19 outbreak says Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that ministers are looking at the feasibility of asking black cab drivers in the capital to act as a transport service for NHS workers similar to that being offered in other European countries fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

Boris Johnson was responding to a question made by the Conservative Broxbourne MP, Charles Walker, who highlighted the "army of black cab drivers in and around London itching to get involved like the Spitfires in 1940".

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Charles Walker MP added: “Prime Minister, can we find a way if we need to get doctors and nurses safely across London to use these black cab drivers, not on the meter but perhaps on a contracted basis?”

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, responded saying: “My honourable friend makes a superb point and indeed that has already been raised in our considerations. The black cab drivers are a fantastic service, they are an unsung service and I believe they can certainly rise to this challenge.”

The news follows Wes Streeting MP’s claim that Transport for London are looking at ways to mobilise the taxi and private hire industry. Yesterday, Streeting said on social media: “This morning I had a call with Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor of London), Transport for London, London Councils and City of London about our taxi and private hire industry.

“I am encouraged that efforts are being made to look at how we can mobilise our professional drivers and that industry/trade bodies are in discussions.”

Image credit: LEVC

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