MONDAY, January 6, 2020. Schools across Glasgow – and Scotland – return after the festive holidays. Taxis helping with school runs are cleaned in advance as normal.

Let’s take a step back in time and talk about that cleaning regime just seven months ago.

A good Glasgow Taxi driver would always take pride in his vehicle’s exterior, so that it would be gleaming for the new week ahead.

Inside the cab? Passenger area floor cleaned. Seats wiped. All glass and the partition given the Windolene treatment. Any rubbish disposed of. New air freshener in. Job done.

Now that’s a pretty comprehensive clean and that would be done a number of times a week. Certainly, ahead of the first full week of the year and the schools returning, I had my taxi absolutely sparkling and I know many of my colleagues would have been the same.

However, as we know, it’s a different ball game now. You would genuinely need to have been living on the moon not to be aware of the pandemic, the change in health and safety requirements and the shift in people’s expectations.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020? Let’s just say, the cleaning regime for a Glasgow taxi ahead of the return of the city’s schools after the summer “holidays” was on another level.

My taxi was down at HQ last week receiving a booked-in 20-minute “ozone clean” using an industrial machine to completely obliterate all bad bacteria and germs from the interior.

This has been supplemented by stickers placed on the windows of my cab to show all customers that the vehicle is “Separated, Sanitised, Safe”, that first word being an important USP that only real taxis have built-in partitions separating driver from passengers.

In addition, I have been equipped with surface sanitiser spray, hand gel and other cleaning equipment to aid me and to act as peace of mind for passengers.

To give you an idea as to how seriously we are taking this, EVERY touch point is wiped after every journey, including the full seat belt strap AFTER it is pulled out from its holder.

I’ve even cleaned my credit card machine – despite the fact it’s contactless!

This isn’t just my taxi. All Glasgow Taxis which will undertake any school jobs this week will have received this treatment. All passengers have that guarantee.

It’s a step change from January but it’s a necessity. Seven months ago seems a much more simple time but this is the world we live in now and this is our way of life for the foreseeable.

So far our customers seem to appreciate it and that’s good enough for me.

As for the kids, we wish them all the best of luck for their return to schools this week.

Stay safe!