Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Unite the Union is calling for the government to hire hackney carriage taxis to transport key workers, vulnerable people and medical supplies.
Hackney carriages across the UK have seen a dramatic fall in trade since the coronavirus crisis began. The vehicles are seen as very hygienic with the passengers sealed away from the driver due to a glass partition. They are also regularly disinfected and such cleaning measures can be further increased.
Unite, which represents tens of thousands of transport workers, are also entering into discussions with the government about having the rules on when over 60s can utilise free bus travel to be relaxed.
Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “The government needs to relax the rules on free bus travel during the coronavirus, so that older people can travel when they need to.
“If the rules on free bus travel are not relaxed then only older people with access to a car will be able to take advantage of special supermarket opening hours.
“Hackney carriage drivers have seen a huge drop in work due to the coronavirus but they can provide the most efficient and cleanest travel.
“The government should be hiring these taxis to get key workers to work and to transport medical supplies.
“Not only will the workers who are keeping the country going during the ongoing crisis have a safe and clean way to travel to and from work but taxi drivers who are self-employed who have seen earnings collapse, will continue to be paid, while benefiting society.”