CALLS have been repeated for Glasgow City Council to permit the installation of protective screens on Private Hire cars throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes one month after United Private Hire Drivers chairman, Barry Sloan, told the Glasgow Times how he was “increasingly concerned” for drivers’ safety as they made makeshift barriers for their vehicles.

Glasgow Times:

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After Glasgow City Council denied drivers the request to install the protective screening, MSP Annie Wells and Conservative councillor Philip Charles, who sits on the authority’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee, wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport.

They requested for Secretary Michael Matheson to clarify the position of the Scottish Government on this matter.

Now, Glasgow Conservatives have received confirmation from the Scottish Government that updated guidance supports the use of safety screens within vehicles in order to preserve physical distancing between passengers and drivers.

Glasgow Times:

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A response from the Minister for Community Safety, MSP Ash Denham, states that the decision to install the barriers is one for licensing authorities, operations and the firm or individual operating the vehicle based on their own risk assessment.

Operators and drivers should contact their relevant local licensing authority to check that they will permit the installation and ensure that the screen will meet their requirements and that of the relevant insurance company.

Conservative councillor Phillip Charles, said: “I’m pleased to have received assurances from the Scottish Government on behalf of private hire drivers throughout the city who have been badly let down by Glasgow City Council on this matter.

“While initially a Council spokesperson suggested that there was no evidence that safety screens restricted the spread of the virus, the Minister’s response clearly spells out how physical barriers can act as a mitigation measure and help to protect both drivers and passengers.

“Having also written to the head of licensing at Glasgow City Council last month on this issue, I’ll be following up with the licensing department to ensure that private hire drivers who wish to take this step are now not prevented from doing so.”

Glasgow City Council have been approached for comment.