Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has written to Ministers Deirdre Hargey and Nicola Mallon requesting a meeting to discuss the contribution that the Belfast Black Taxis can make to the fightback against COVID19.
Speaking, the West Belfast MP said:
“I have requested a meeting with the Ministers for Communities and Infrastructure to discuss the role that the Belfast Black Taxis can continue to play in assisting the community fightback against COVID19.
“The design of the black taxis lends itself to social distancing with suitable mechanisms such as the Perspex partition and back of the cab.
“From conversations I have had with the management, they are open to redeployment.
“The redeployment would be a significant assistance to the community response, as well as protecting employment and livelihoods at this time of great uncertainty.
“I will also request that Ministers extend free travel to those that are 60+ to the black taxis with the drivers being retrospectively reimbursed.
“The community ethos of the Black Taxis runs core to the heart of the organisation and has done for decades. It provides our community with first class transportation and must be supported.
“I will be urging the Ministers to give this an immediate focus as part of their approach to the COIVD-19 response and transportation planning.”