The pandemic known as Corona Virus that has devastatingly swept across the globe is like nothing we have seen in our lifetime. The ‘normal’ we once knew is currently a thing of the past and we now all look to find the new normal.
Everyone has had to make changes in the way they socialise, go about their day to day life’s and work. At Mount Cars we are no different, we have had to completely restructure to safeguard our staff in the office’s and our drivers out on the road, as well as our customers. It has been a challenge to say the least. This post serves to update what steps we as a company have already done, are currently doing and what our plan is moving forward.
On the 23rd of March, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a UK wide lockdown, only allowing a single trip a day for essential items and only granting travel to key workers getting to and from work and essential travel. We (as a transport service) was classed as a key service and was allowed to operate through the locakdown. We did this to the very best of our ability. Our offices remained opened and our phone lines were covered 24/7. However as expected (and rightly so) passenger numbers decreased dramatically and in turn so too did our driver numbers.
With the decreased passenger and driver numbers and risk to staff exposed, on the 28th of March the decision was made to shut both our offices at Chingford Station and Chingford Mount on Wednesday 1st of April temporarily. Our phone lines would remian in operation to cater for the very limited demand and we had a very limited number of drivers who was willing to continue working, this was the drivers own choice to work and as to be expected drivers were advised to increase personal and vehicle hygiene, wear a face-mask, carry disinfectant spray at all times and regularly clean high use areas, such as door handles, seat belts, steering wheels etc.
On the 2nd of June, with demand for service far from at full capacity but increasing, the decision was made for us to begin returning staff back into operation at the offices. This has begun with our head office at Chingford Mount reopening and staffed 6am to 6pm 7 days a week and driver numbers are at healthy levels to match current demand. Chingford station office is to remain closed for the time being until demand increases.
As of Monday the 15th of April the latest Governmental advice issued to the private hire trade by Transport for London (TFL) for driver and passenger safety is as follows:
- Do not travel if you are suffering any symptoms of coronavirus
- Maintain (where possible) the recommended 2 meter distance.
- Passengers should (whenever possible) travel alone or with members from the same household only.
- Passengers should aim to enter and exit the vehicle via the near-side rear passenger door (diagonally opposite the driver) and sit in the nearside rear passenger seat for the duration of the journey.
- Passengers should wear a face covering for the duration of the trip including entering and exiting the vehicle. A covering is deemed anything that covers the mouth and nose together at the same time. Under 3’s should not wear a face covering and those with a respiratory condition is also exempt.
- Notify at the time of booking if more then one person is to travel.
- Pay with credit or debit card where possible. Drivers will accept cash but it is advised to minimise the handling of cash.
- Drivers will keep the vehicle well ventilated for everyone safety by opening car windows, or by using the car vents to circulate air from outside
Moving forward we have every intention to reopen to full capacity with both our offices reopen as normal as quickly and safely as we can. We will update with further information as and when we can.
In the mean time we would like to say thank you to our amazing customer base for sticking by us, working with us and understanding throughout this pandemic. If you have any concerns, issues or questions please feel free to get in touch.