Updated: Oct 16
Cabbies in Scotland can now receive grants of up to £350 to help make their vehicles more COVID-19 secure.
The COVID-19 Public Transport Retrofit Fund is part of the larger COVID-19 Public Transport Mitigation Fund, announced by Transport Scotland in August 2020. The aim of the fund is to support public transport operators during the coronavirus outbreak.
The fund supports the installation of measures needed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on vehicles and aims to improve capacity and increase public confidence while on board.
The applicant’s taxi or private hire vehicle must be licenced in Scotland and all funded vehicles must be currently in operation and operational primarily within Scottish local authority areas.
A cap of £350 per vehicle applies and applicants may apply for funding to retrofit up to 25% of their total taxi or private hire vehicle fleet, or five vehicles (inclusive), whichever is greater.
The following measures are available as part of the grant:
hand sanitiser dispensers and pole mounting bracket
easy clean seat covers
partition screening (Hackney taxis excluded)
automated UV cleaning solutions for card machines.
Speaking on the wider COVID-19 Public Transport Mitigation Fund announced in August, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Recent surveys indicate there is still a high degree of anxiety around using public transport due to the risks posed by COVID-19. While there is no risk-free solution at this time, I want to do all that we can to help mitigate the risks that do exist on public transport.
“This funding offers public, school and community transport providers the opportunity to install additional measures should they need to. I recognise that many operators and staff have been working tirelessly to create a safer environment for passengers – but some may still need to take additional steps or require funding to do so.
“With more people expected to make journeys over the coming weeks – this is the right time to provide additional support to help mitigate some of the risks posed by COVID-19 on public transport.
“It’s important to stress that COVID-19 does still present a danger and masks are compulsory on public transport unless an exemption applies. Practicing good hand hygiene is also critical in controlling the spread of the virus.
“Due to physical distancing requirements, capacity on our public transport network remains limited. Despite these additional measures to keep people safe, our guidance remains the same. Work from home if you can. Walk, wheel and cycle for everyday journeys where possible – and if you do need to use public transport, remember to plan ahead, travelling outside of peak times if you can. By following these steps, we can all help manage demand on our public transport network and leave space for people that need it most.”