Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy Transport & North Wales
Further to my Oral Statement of 24 November 2020, I am pleased to announce that we are today launching a free PPE initiative for all licensed taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers in Wales, including Uber drivers.
This time-bound initiative has been designed to have a three-fold purpose:
- to recognise the important contribution taxi and PHV drivers make to public transport in Wales;
- to ensure this mode of travel is as safe as possible, both for drivers and passengers; and
- to bring this sector into closer alignment with other public transport operators in Wales.
Members will be aware that the government already provides Covid emergency support funding to rail and bus services in Wales, where PPE is an allowable expense under those schemes.
Under the terms of this offer each licensed driver will be eligible to claim a free Welsh Government PPE pack comprising an array of cleaning products sufficient for six months use. Every effort has been made to source products from local suppliers, including Rototherm in Margam and Bio Hygiene in Caerphilly. Each pack is worth £73.50, including free postage and packing.
In addition further details will be posted on the Welsh Government, WLGA and local authority websites, including how and where drivers can claim their free PPE kit.
I am pleased to advise Members that this initiative is the product of close and collaborative working between the National Procurement Service, WLGA, Lyreco, and local authorities with my officials. By continuing to work together we can continue to keep Wales safe.
As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to work with Public Health Wales, trade unions and industry to explore what further measures we can take to appropriately protect all of our transport workers across Wales through these challenging times.