Travel with confidence and stay safe in St Albans District taxis
People can feel more confident taking a taxi or minicab in St Albans District thanks to a new Travel With Confidence scheme that has been launched across Hertfordshire.
Drivers and operators are being offered free online training to keep themselves – and their passengers – safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those who successfully complete the course and become accredited can display Travel With Confidence stickers on their taxi or minicab.
In addition, they will qualify for £50 towards the cost of a screen to separate driver and passengers to further reduce the risk of COVID infection.
The latest government guidance means that passengers in taxis are required to wear face coverings. Drivers have the right to refuse to carry passengers not wearing a face covering or to ask them to leave their vehicle. Those that fail to comply could face Fixed Penalty Notices.
Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum, a partnership of key public agencies, initiated the scheme.
St Albans City and District Council (SADC) licences hackney carriages (commonly known as taxis) and private hire vehicles (minicabs) within its area.
It has signed up to the scheme along with other Hertfordshire Councils with funding provided by the county’s Director of Public Health, Jim McManus.
Hertfordshire is currently under Tier Four COVID restrictions meaning people should stay at home and not travel unless they have a reasonable excuse.
This can include using a taxi to make an essential journey such as a trip to hospital, a funeral or for a work appointment that cannot be done at home.
Cllr Linda Haysey, Chair of the community reassurance cell of Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum and Leader of East Herts Council, said:
We want to make sure people in Hertfordshire feel confident when taking a taxi and minicab and know that everything has been done by the drivers and operators to keep passengers safe.
Taxis and private hire vehicles are often used by people travelling to and from hospital so we must protect the vulnerable while also ensuring the safety of the drivers as there is a proportion of them who may be more vulnerable to the serious effects of Covid-19 because they are from a BAME background, because of their age or other underlying health issues.
“ would encourage people to look out for the special mark on vehicles or ask for an accredited driver when booking a vehicle and make a safer choice when deciding on how to travel.
Councillor Mandy McNeil, SADC’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture, said:
I’m pleased we are joining this excellent scheme that helps both our taxi drivers and our residents in these challenging times.
Drivers are given valuable information about how to operate safely while residents can look out for the confidence mark to make a safe choice when deciding on a taxi or minicab.
Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture: 07584 198999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Principal Communications Officer,
Tel: 01727 819533
Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF) is a multi-agency partnership, made up of representatives from local public services, including the emergency services, local authorities, the NHS, the Environment Agency and the Highways Agency, the Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as other partners in the military and voluntary sector who provide a valuable contribution to LRF work in emergency preparedness.
Through the LRF, we plan and prepare together to deal with localised incidents and national emergencies. We identify potential risks and produce emergency plans to either prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident on their local communities. The strategic coordination group has been providing a multi-agency response to COVID-19 since March.