LISTEN: £19 Million of funding secured for taxi drivers and private coach and bus operators

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By Q Radio News

The Infrastructure Minister has confirmed £19 Million in COVID support funding will be set aisde for taxi drivers, and private coach and bus operators.

Nichola Mallon made the announcement on Tiwtter saying she was "pleased that after being given new powers on Saturday night, I've today secured Executive support for a new scheme."

Nichola Mallon speaking to Q Radio

£14 Million of the funding will go directly to taxi drivers whilst £5 Million will be earmarked to help coach and bus operators.

On Tuesday, public and private hire taxi drivers met with Nichola Mallon remotel following a campaign for specific hardship relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking after the meeting, Jonathan McKeown, of Eastside Taxis, said he felt relieved.

Jonathan McKeown

“We started campaigning towards the end of March when we realised how severe the first lockdown was going to be, after seven months I think we deserve what we heard today,” he said.

“It’s been tough, you fall into debt, overheads don’t get met.

“In the first lockdown, a lot of depots did deferments on car payments which did help, but we’re into another lockdown now and things aren’t showing much sign of improvement.”

He was completely off the road from April to June and said trade remained slow even when the hospitality sector reopened in July.

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