Key government ministers are being strongly urged to provide drivers a high-priority vaccination status by a united taxi and private hire representative front.
The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) has directed a letter signed by eighteen different trade bodies to three key government ministers. These ministers include: Baroness Vere (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department for Transport), Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care) and Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE (Secretary of State for Education).
In the letter it highlights the ‘very high-risk category group’ that taxi and private hire drivers find themselves in.
The letter was signed by eighteen of the biggest UK taxi and private hire representative groups and all support the need for early vaccinations.
In the letter addressed to the ministers it reads: “I write to government on behalf of all the Trade Bodies set out below to strongly advocate that taxi & Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers are given a high-priority vaccination status.
“You will be aware that Taxi & PHV drivers are in the very high-risk category group and that sadly the associated mortality rate as borne out by Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures is extremely high.
“Not only is there extreme risk for drivers but, of course, the same applies to passengers due to close proximity, which in turn, adds to the risk of onward transmission/super spreading. Our industry has been asked to support the NHS, nursing establishments, other modes of transport, the elderly, the vulnerable, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), key worker and educational support transportation.
“We do, of course, respect the absolute priority set out in the Independent report by the Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which identifies the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination (updated 6 January 2021) but wish to add that Taxi and PHV drivers need to be included/added.”
Talking about the letter, Steve Wright MBE, Chairman LPHCA, said: “Many Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle drivers have needed to continue working to support the NHS, emergency services, educational and other critical services.
“With all the above essential services stretched it has been necessary for Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle drivers to play their part in supporting them. Drivers need to be protected as do passengers, so once the very highest levels of priority have been done taxi and PHV drivers should be prioritised for vaccination.”
The driver organisations supporting the campaign includes:
Chauffeur & Executive Committee
City of Salford Private Hire Association
Driver Guides Association
Durham Licensed Taxi Association
GMB Professional Drivers Branch
Greater Manchester Drivers Federation
London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC)
Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA)
Private Hire Board
Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA)
National Private Hire & Taxi Association (NPHTA)
Scottish Licensed Private Hire Car Association
Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association (SHPHA)
South Cambridge Executive Operators
Unite the Union (Cab Section)
United Cabbies Group
Welsh Licensed Private Hire Car Association
York Private Hire Association