Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for the Taxi Trade
During the coronavirus crisis the authority will continue to provide a service to our taxi customers wherever possible and it is safe to do so.
9th April 2020
7th April 2020
The following sector specific advice has been forwarded to the Council via Welsh Government from The Department of Transport:
Offers of assistance from the trade
We have received many offers of assistance from the trade, to co-ordinate the offers and assistance needed we are requesting that all offers of services be directed to: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business; this will help us to ensure all such offers are received by the correct team leading on a particular issue and responded to quickly.
Assisting the trade
- The Self-employment Income Support Scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. More information on the scheme is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
- The above is perhaps particularly relevant to the taxi and PHV trade but it is part of the measures announced, e.g. changes to Universal Credit - more info is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19
Assistance for businesses
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. More information on the measures is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Public health guidance for the sector
The Department for Transport and Public Health England has issued guidance to transport sector workers, this is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector
27th March 2020
Renewal letters will be emailed to customers however application forms are also available online. Please provide us with an email address if we don't already have one for you.
Please no not post any paperwork or applications to us as office buildings are closing and staff are all working from home, anything posted is not likely to be able to be attended to for some time. Use email@example.com to contact us.
Adapted Processes for this period are:
Officers are no longer carrying out the usual visual vehicle check, vehicle licences will be renewed based on the required paperwork alone:
- Completed application form,
- Valid insurance document
These can all be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org , on receipt of the paperwork an officer will check this and will arrange for you to be contacted to take payment over the telephone. Your renewed licence will be emailed out to you, at the moment we are not able to produce taxi plates so you will need to keep the old plate on the vehicle and carry with you the updated licence in case of any challenge
A temporary relaxation of the vehicle conditions has been approved so that for vehicles more than 6 years old, the licence may lapse and be renewed later.
Officers will be completing the process over the telephone, including completing the on-line DBS form, and DVLA check. An appointment will need to be made for this to be done over the telephone. Verification documents and application forms will need to be emailed to us. Payment can be made over the telephone. Drivers will get the renewed licence emailed to them, on completion of the checks and will have to wait until later for their badge, please carry the renewed licence with you in case of challenge.
New vehicles, driver tests and applications are being suspended for the time being
MOT's and Medicals
Drivers due mid-term medicals during this period are likely to experience difficulties in getting an appointment to get this done, there are alternative providers for driver medicals, and you may still be able to obtain one through these companies. Alternatively in line with other authorities we will accept ain the interim where there is no change in medical circumstances drivers will be permitted to continue to operate and will need to provide the usual medical as soon as possible after restrictions are raised and they are able to get an appointment.
It is still possible to get an MOT and garages are open and issuing MOT's however we are aware that in the event that some garages may not be able to operate, then MOT's can be extended for 6 months from 30th March.
If it is possible please provide us with 6 monthly MOT's and MOT's for vehicle renewals that are no more than 28 days as is usual practice.
After 30th March if the vehicle is needed to provide essential transport, we will not be issuing a prohibition notice should it not be possible to provide a new 6 monthly MOT. Similarity we will consider renewing vehicle licences on MOT's awarded a 6 monthly extension.
We are getting lots of enquiries about whether taxi drivers should be working in the current circumstances. Here is the Dft advice:
Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear - people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance.
Clearly if absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.
Critical Worker Status
Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of 'extremely vulnerable' people may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home; requests for children to attend school should be discussed with the school."
If you are operating, please consider the following advice about keeping yourself and customers safe:
Drivers and vehicle proprietors of the vehicle both have a responsibility to ensure, to the best of their ability, that the vehicle is safe. Whilst that usually relates to mechanical safety, clearly environmental safety is also vital.
Ideally every vehicle should be disinfected after every hiring, but this is clearly not practically possible. However, it would be possible to ensure that some form of cleaning of obvious areas takes place - door handles, seat belts and buckles and any other obvious hard surface that may have been touched by a passenger. This would include areas that may have been infected following a passenger coughing or sneezing such as physical divisions between the front and rear of the vehicle, the rear of front seats and so on. The guidance from the Government is
"frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products"