Amber Cars go the extra mile throughout pandemic

Leeds’ largest taxi and private hire vehicle operator has been working relentlessly over the last 12 months to ensure the safety of driver partners and their passengers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as lifting spirits through several community-led initiatives.

Promoted by Amber Cars
Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:52 am
Mother Stephanie Longbottom (second left), whose 2-month-old son Damon is being treated at Leeds Children's Hospital, poses with taxi driver Shane Stride from Amber Cars (left), Chris Neary from Amber Cars (second right) and nurse Kelly Gill (right) outside the Clarendon Wing at Leeds General Infirmary in Leeds, UK

As the pandemic hit, Amber Cars was one of the first companies to introduce stringent health and hygiene measures to protect both driver partners and their passengers and ease any concerns about travelling for essential journeys.

The measures, designed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, included the introduction of specialist cleaning regimes, in-vehicle protective screens, and making more than a quarter of a million free face coverings available to self-employed driver partners for their own personal use while driving.

Understanding the challenges of the pandemic, Amber Cars launched its ‘You Click, We Collect’ service in March 2020. The company also introduced AirPay, a text message payment solution, making cashless payments available on all bookings.

Abdul Waheed, owner of Gee Gee cars (left) and Chris Neary, Amber Cars Regional Director, pose outside the offices of Gee Gee cars after the company was acquired by Amber cars

In addition to its delivery services, and in a show of solidarity during this challenging time, Amber Cars launched a 20% discount on fares for all frontline NHS staff and carers, as well as offering free transport for parents of new-born babies in neonatal care at Leeds Children’s Hospital. The latter initiative saw Amber Cars provide hundreds of free journeys to help worried parents spend time with their new babies.

Chris Neary, Regional Director of Amber Cars, said: “We have always responded to the communities we serve and realised there were more ways in which we could help. The pandemic presented so many challenges, especially when it came to travelling safely and hygienically. We were happy to be able to help and give the parents one less thing to worry about.”

As well as supporting local residents, Amber Cars has worked hard to strengthen its position across West Yorkshire. In the last 12 months, the operator has completed three acquisitions, including Premier Cars in March 2020, Beeston-based Gee Gee Cars in October 2020 and, most recently, Pudsey B Line, which the operator acquired in March 2021.

The acquisitions see Amber Cars partner with an additional 400 vehicles across Leeds and Bradford, whilst ensuring passengers benefit from increased capacity, excellent service standards and more ways to book journeys.

Chris Heard from Amber Cars in Leeds delivers food to Leeds North & West Foodbank

Supporting the elderly and vulnerable has also been a priority for the private hire business throughout the pandemic. Last year they gifted afternoon tea hampers to residents and hardworking staff at Ashfield Care Home as well as donating over £300’s worth of groceries to Leeds North and West Food Bank at Christmastime, ensuring those in need had access to some festive treats.

Chris Neary said: “Everyone has faced their own unique challenges during the pandemic. Driver partners often hear first-hand the difficulties people face. However, the driver partners are the unsung heroes throughout this past 12 months.

“It has been amazing to see how quickly they have adapted and continued to provide excellent service in our local communities. We thank them for their efforts and look forward to better times ahead.”

To find out more about the work of Amber Cars, visit their website here.

Chris Neary from Amber cars poses outside the head offices in Leeds
Karen Dean, Ashfield Care Home manager (right) poses with resident Bill as he enjoys his afternoon tea at Ashfield Care Home, delivered by Amber Cars from the Cottage Coffee Shop in Wetherby