Taxi Drivers (Covid-19 Safety)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th May 2020.

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Photo of Peter Chapman Peter Chapman Conservative

6. To ask the Scottish Government what guidance has been issued to local authorities to ensure the safety of taxi drivers operating throughout this crisis. (S5O-04361)

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I would prefer it if you read the question as it is in the

Business Bulletin

, but, in the interest of speed, we will let that pass.

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

I will respond to the question as per the

Business Bulletin first.

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

As they are the relevant licensing authorities, local authorities have a role in the safety of taxi drivers. The Scottish Government published guidance on Tuesday 26 May for those who are providing transport services, including taxi and private hire vehicle operators, on how they should assess risks and implement appropriate measures to ensure the safety of themselves, their staff and their passengers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Photo of Peter Chapman Peter Chapman Conservative

Throughout this crisis, taxi drivers have faced immense financial hardship. We are now looking to enter a different phase, in which passenger numbers will start to increase. What guidance and support do drivers need to keep themselves and their passengers safe?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

One of the key things is to realise that physical distancing might be a challenge in some vehicles that are operating. Operators might consider installing a screen or protective barrier as one of a number of mitigation measures.

Decisions on the installation of protective barriers or safety screens are for licensing authorities and the firms or individuals who are operating the vehicles; they have to make their own assessment of risk in that regard. However, before installing safety screens, operators should contact the relevant licensing authority to check that it is permissible to install them and that the screens meet the requirements. I also urge operators to contact their insurance company about the installation of any additional protective measures in their vehicle.