Addison Lee has joined forces with Ford to develop new safety screens for its Ford Galaxy fleet of private hire vehicles.
Ford’s designers used a material that complies with Transport for London’s (TfL) Private Hire Regulations, allowing for clear rearward vision, communication between driver and passengers and does not interfere with vehicle safety features, such as driver, passenger and curtain air bags.
The screens are being installed by Addison Lee’s technicians, and drivers are being given clear guidance on how to maintain and sanitise the screens, it said.
Installation is already underway, with all Ford Galaxy models in Addison Lee’s fleet anticipated to have screens fitted by the end of September.
Liam Griffin, Addison Lee’s CEO, said: ‘‘Addison Lee is proud to partner with Ford Motor Company to enhance the safety of drivers and passengers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have worked together to design, manufacture and fit a safety screen that will add an extra layer of reassurance for commuters starting to return to work and for employers who want to offer staff a flexible and safe way to travel.”
He continued: “Safety screens have been a challenging issue for the PHV industry over the last six months and we are pleased that, by working in collaboration with a close partner of ours, we have been able to find a solution that satisfies the regulator and enhances everyone’s safety.”
The Ford Galaxy screens come soon after Ford's commercial vehicle operators were offered protection shields for the Transit range, which also double up as a full-time workspace for many customers.
Neil Wilson, fleet director at Ford of Britain said: “Private hire vehicle customers have faced unprecedented challenges in 2020 and are adapting to the new norms.
“Our screens provide additional support as passengers and drivers continue to operate in challenging circumstances, offering additional peace of mind as they work and travel.”