A council has developed a new confidence mark for cabbies to help people feel safer getting a taxi during the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes as Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said it is "critical" for people to be offered safe ways of travelling around Watford as the lockdown restrictions are eased.

And Watford Borough Council says people can now "feel more confident" taking a taxi or minicab in the town because of its new confidence mark - a sign that a driver has gained safety accreditation by completing a tailored programme.

The programme is designed to help get cabbies back to work as the Covid-19 lockdown continues to ease.

To qualify for the confidence mark, all Watford based licence holders will receive specialist infection control and risk assessment training. Drivers will be awarded a mark to display on their vehicles once they complete the programme.

The council will also make a grant available for cab drivers to install a passenger safety screen if they meet the standards required of the programme.

Mr Taylor said: "The council wants to make sure local people can feel confident when taking a taxi and minicab that as much as possible has been done by the driver to keep them safe and reduce the spread of the virus.

"Our programme gives the drivers the information and guidance they need and our grant offers them practical support to make vehicles safer by installing screens.

"I would urge people to look out for the special mark and make a safe choice when deciding on a taxi or minicab.”

Shafiq Ahmed, Chair of the Watford Hackney Carriage Association, added: “We are really pleased to be working with the council on helping Watford’s drivers get back to work.

"The programme of training and the grant are a real boost after what has been a very difficult time for the trade. We want to be a key part of providing the safest transport services in the town and I am very proud of the partnership work that has put together this package of support.”