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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:10 pm 
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Cheltenham taxi drivers could be given go-ahead to install safety screens to reduce coronavirus risks

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/n ... en-4260971

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Safety screens could be voluntarily installed by licensed taxi drivers in Cheltenham to protect drivers and customers from potentially transmitting coronavirus if plans are given the go-ahead.

A proposal to change council policy on partition screens in taxis was given the first nod at a Cheltenham Borough Council Licensing Committee today, and is up for final sign-off at a future cabinet meeting.

Screens are commonly installed as a safety feature to protect the driver from physical attacks or theft, but a council document said there has been a rise in interest of the use of screens to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

A council officer said 1,000 letters had been sent as part of a consultation with taxi traders.

Fifty-one individuals responded and 35 of those were opposed to screens, citing concerns that some insurance providers would not allow screens to be installed.

The policy is discretionary, so it will be up to the individual taxi drivers to decide whether to install a screen and it will also be up to the customer to decide whether they want to enter a vehicle without one.

Licensing committee chair councillor David Willingham said in the meeting today (June 24): "Having it as a discretionary policy which the drivers can choose to do or not do is probably for the best. Those that wish to incur a cost of that are able to.

"We need to have a policy on it because we need to make sure they are safe, and that they don't impede someone getting out of the vehicle in the case of an accident or some other incident.

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A council report said: "Partitions or safety screens provide a physical barrier between drivers and passengers in the vehicle.

"They are commonly installed in purpose built hackney carriages as a safety feature to protect the driver from physical attacks or theft.

"There has been an increase in interest of the use of screens as a way of providing physical separation between drivers and passengers in order to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

"Purpose built hackney carriages are already fitted with partitions between drivers and passengers. However, licensed saloon vehicles do not have partitions/safety screens installed. There are a wide variety of different makes and model of these vehicles licences in Cheltenham.

"Whilst a partition screen between drivers and passengers will not provide 100 per cent protection against transmission of the coronavirus, evidence shows that the use of physical barriers is effective in lowering the rate of infection and spread of the virus.

"Whether a partitions or screens should be installed is a matter for vehicle owners, drivers and/or operators to consider."

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Picture above looks like the vehicle is about to be robbed.

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A proposal to change council policy on partition screens in taxis was given the first nod at a Cheltenham Borough Council Licensing Committee today, and is up for final sign-off at a future cabinet meeting.

Well lets hope no driver gets the virus whilst the Cabinet dots the I's and crosses the T's. [-(

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Fifty-one individuals responded and 35 of those were opposed to screens, citing concerns that some insurance providers would not allow screens to be installed.

Load of old fanny. I've not come across any insurance company blocking screens, especially the ones in the article that are vinyl and fabric.

In fact one insurance company down here is offering a deal for those cars that have fitted screens.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:46 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Picture above looks like the vehicle is about to be robbed.

First thing I thought as well - not sure if that's the driver, but certainly not a reassuring image.

And while I suspect people's perception of this kind of thing have changed over the months, in the early days I was thinking that if drivers had a choice then punters might not like the look of a driver with a mask on, as if he might be more of a threat or health risk than a driver without a mask.

Makes no difference here in Scotland now, though, since they're compulsory for all drivers (and passengers), but who knows how punters will perceive them when (if?) the ban eventually lifted, but some drivers continue to wear them.

On a related point, surprised our council hasn't issued any sort of communication about the face masks, which have been compulsory since Monday, apparently.

I mean, they've been posting about vehicle substitutions and screens etc, on Facebook, and sent out the odd email, but nothing about this, which I think is the only compulsory measure that the trade's really had to deal with here since it all kicked off?


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