Taxi drivers in Nottingham have been praised by MPs for their “selflessness” and “generosity” in providing key NHS staff free transport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheme started by Nottingham Licensed Taxi Association (NLTA) has been in action for two weeks and has been heavily used and praised by local MPs and medical officials.
Asif Maqsood, 43, a taxi driver for 16 years and spokesperson for the Nottingham Licensed Taxi Association, said on Thursday: “We have been operating this free service for NHS hospital workers for thirteen days now. At a time of crisis, you know that the drivers of Licensed Hackney Carriages in Nottingham are willing to go the extra mile to help others.
“The NHS hospital workers are literally putting their lives at risk for us so this is the least we can do. The idea was brought to the attention of the Association Committee, and then quickly put it into operation.
“We are very pleased that our City MP’s and Leader of Nottingham City Council are supporting us in this cause.”
Nottingham North MP Alex Norris said: “Our NHS staff are doing an incredible job of keeping us safe and well in difficult circumstances. Current lockdown rules have hit hard, but still Nottingham Licensed Taxi Association taxi drivers are stepping up for our NHS and the whole community. We’re lucky to have them.”
Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome said: "I'm amazed by the selflessness of Nottingham Licensed Taxi Association drivers in Nottingham, putting NHS workers first when many are themselves struggling to keep a roof over their heads. I will continue pressing the government for mass-testing - at least for all frontline workers and including taxi drivers - and for sufficient and immediate financial support for self-employed people."
Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood said: “I know that the current lockdown is devastating for many self-employed workers, including our city’s taxi drivers. That’s why it’s incredible that, despite facing a huge cut in their income, Nottingham Licensed Taxi Association taxi drivers are offering free transport to and from work for NHS hospital workers. It’s a wonderful act of solidarity and generosity towards Nottingham’s health workers.”
John Peach, Operations Manager at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Nottingham Licensed Taxi Association taxi drivers in our community who are supporting our staff by offering free rides to NHS staff to and from work. This is another great example of how people in Nottinghamshire are showing their generosity to us at this challenging time.”