Taxi and private hire vehicle drivers in Wales will be able to claim a free pack of high quality PPE and vehicle cleaning materials, funded by the Welsh Government.
The move is intended to increase confidence in travelling safely for drivers and passengers.
The pack contains medical grade re-usable face coverings and hand sanitiser, as well as all-purpose sanitiser, cloths, wipes and gloves so vehicles can be effectively cleaned between passengers. Medical grade face coverings have been chosen to provide enhanced protection over standard face coverings.
The Welsh Government is strongly recommending for drivers to wear face coverings when transporting passengers, if it does not interfere with their ability to drive safely. The chosen face coverings are intended to be comfortable to wear for a long period of time. The legal requirement for passengers to wear face coverings remains in place.
Drivers will be able to apply for a pack via the Lyreco website and the pack will be delivered free of charge.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said: “Taxis and private hire vehicles are an essential part of our public transport network and we appreciate the vital role drivers have played as frontline workers during this pandemic.
“We recognise drivers are keen to make their vehicles as safe, clean and hygienic as possible, and these packs will contribute to the ongoing efforts they are making. We’ve worked closely with Lyreco and the Welsh Government Local Government Association to develop this initiative and thank them both for their efforts.”
Russell George MS – Shadow Minister for Transport said that it is essential to recognise the vital contribution taxi and PHV drivers make to transport in Wales, while also ensuring that taxi travel is as safe as possible – for both drivers and passengers, adding: “It’s about time this sector was brought into closer alignment with other public transport operators in Wales.
“Despite a downturn in taxi and other journeys caused by the pandemic, the 74,100 licensed operators in Wales and those they transport will welcome this decision.
“Such a scheme, if implemented properly, will come at a considerable cost and ministers must ensure they are in a position to deliver, in full, on this promise.”