Taxi firms in Burnham-On-Sea have put in place Coronavirus safety measures to keep customers safe and they have appealed to residents for support following a huge 70 per cent drop in trade.
Three local taxi companies have already closed down this year due to the pandemic causing a big downturn in demand.
The remaining companies have installed a number of safety measures to fully comply with Government guidelines in an effort to make taxi travel safe for customers and drivers.
Dave Regan of Saints Taxis told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It has been a very difficult year for local taxi services – trade is down around 70% since the pandemic began.”
“The fixed costs don’t go and fortunately our County Council contract work has kept us afloat. April and May were terrible – we saw a 95% fall in trade during those months and sadly three local companies didn’t survive.”
“Some local people are still shielding and others feel uneasy about going out, which is why we want to explain the measures in place to keep people safe.”
“We have virus protection screens in our taxis, creating a physical separation between the driver and passengers.”
“Payments are contactless to avoid handling money and the payment card can be scanned through the perspex screens to maintain social distancing.”
“Furthermore, between each trip, the seats and contact services are wiped down with sanitiser. This includes handles, seat belts and seats.”
“Hand sanitiser is available in all vehicles and we ask customers to wear a face mask. If a customer doesn’t have one, we can supply them.”
He adds: “Using taxis is incredibly safe now. We look forward to welcoming back our customers and explaining the safety measures if required.”
Paul Fermandel, who runs Paul’s Taxis, adds: “During the main lockdown, trade was atrocious. It has been gradually picking up but remains far lower than before the pandemic despite us introducing all the safety measures to make taxi travel as safe as possible.”
He adds: “The Christmas party season is usually one of the busiest times of the year but this year will be very different with the ban on gatherings of over six people. With the reduction in travel, airport runs are far fewer too. We were doing 8-10 a week before the pandemic but those have gone.”
“We really need local people to support us or we risk losing more taxi services.”