A survey of Addison Lee’s largest customers reveals that 80% of them will review policies around how employees get to and from work, with 90% citing safety as their priority when it comes to using minicabs or taxis.
In response, Addison Lee is to install partition screens between drivers and passengers across its fleet of 4,000 vehicles, starting next week.
The installation of screens comes ahead of Government and Transport for London guidance, with drivers provided with protective equipment such as masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and disinfectant. The company also employs an electrostatic antimicrobial cleanse of vehicles and facilitates social distancing by using the rear seats of its seven-seater vehicles.
Addison Lee CEO Liam Griffin said: “If London is to gradually get moving again as the government adjusts its advice, it is vital to ensure that the public transport network is not overwhelmed, and that people have a clean and safe way to travel as they go back to work.
“The safety of our drivers and our passengers is our biggest priority. We know there is significant demand from drivers, passengers, businesses and the general public for more to be done to make transport cleaner and safer as we go back to work – including calls for the introduction of partition screens into private hire vehicles. That’s why we have taken the decision to begin rolling out the installation of safety screens between drivers and passenger seats.
“Our dedicated fleet management and driver liaison teams are unique for such a large operator as ourselves. We know who is driving for us and we have regular communication with them so we can work with drivers to support them with the safe and speedy installation of these screens.”
Addison Lee has worked closely with a designer and manufacturer of the screens to ensure that they provide enhanced safety to drivers and passengers. The safety screens are flame retardant, securely fitted, shatterproof and clear so as not to impede the driver's visibility and enable clear communication between the passenger and driver. Details of the product, along with its adherence to International Safety Standards, and images of how it is fitted have already been shared with TfL.