Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has written to the Infrastructure Minister to alert her to measures proposed by those within the taxi sector that could assist the industry during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Foyle MLA said:
“The taxi sector is feeling vulnerable during this period of uncertainty.
“Physical distancing is hard to adhere to within the confines of a taxi and given that people are self isolating and the new lockdown measures, business is drying up.
“Within the sector, there have been calls for pragmatic regulatory measures to be taken to help the industry during this period and I have written to the Minister for Infrastructure to alert her of these proposals.
“This includes the extension of expiring Taxi Driver licenses so large groups of drivers do not have to congregate in order to go through the training period for license renewal.
“There is a potential role for taxi drivers to play during this crises, particularly seven seater taxis with screens separating the driver from the passenger area, and those roles should be explored fully.
“Where physical distancing can be maintained, taxis could be involved in transporting medical staff to and from hospital and delivering prescriptions and food to the most in need.
“Taxi drivers provide an essential service to members of the community and cannot be left behind.”