National Policy Circular No. NP/061/JW
To all Taxi Branches and Regional Councils
19 March 2020
RMT CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO MOBILISE TAXIS AS AN EMERGENCY SERVICE FOR ISOLATED FAMILIES
I wanted to update you to let you know that I have today called on the government to use Taxis to create a fifth emergency service during the Coronavirus crisis, able to mitigate the isolation of families facing increasing levels of lockdown.
As the government closes schools and imposes more restrictions on movement to control the spread of the virus, families are facing increasing isolation. Many older and vulnerable people are struggling to travel to shops, while pharmacies face difficulties in delivering the volume of prescriptions needed. Official advice is urging people not to use public transport.
There is clearly an urgent need for a trusted, high quality ‘drop off’ service able to connect people from their front doors to shops, pharmacies and other critical services.
That’s why I’ve called on the government to use the Licenced Taxi trade to create a vital lifeline between isolated people and services during the coronavirus crisis by creating an emergency public service staffed by Licenced Taxi drivers and paid a temporary government salary.
This measure would also throw a vital economic lifeline to more than 75,000 self-employed taxi drivers who are facing huge uncertainty at this time.
In our press statement I described this as a win-win idea for the government. At this time of crisis, we have increasingly isolated communities and families needing door-to-door contact with shops and critical services, being advised not to use public transport, and we have more than 75,000 highly skilled, trusted Licenced taxi drivers who need a lifeline to survive. This is a time for government to show imagination and resolve and match a highly skilled resource to an increasingly desperate need.
With other union general secretaries, I am in contact with the Department for Transport and will feed this into our discussions. I will keep you fully advised and informed over the coming weeks. Please share the contents of this circular with your members.