Suffolk-based RH Bodyworks is providing protection to bus drivers by developing fully sealed protective shields to sit between them and passengers.
The permanent solution is designed to protect drivers from infection. More than 100 units have already been made for a London operator. RH Bodyworks has completed designs for the MCV EvoSeti and the original-style Alexander Dennis Enviro400. The latter product will shortly be modified to fit the Enviro400 MMC.
“If there is demand for other makes and models, we would be open to designing a system for them,” says General Manager Andy Sage.
The impetus to create a fully sealed driver shield came from the fact that anti-assault screens fitted to many buses have gaps at the top and the bottom. They can allow coronavirus COVID-19 to be transmitted, the supplier says.
“The London operator concerned sent a bus that we had on site. From there, we designed a mock-up and worked to perfect it. Our primary objective was to fully protect drivers, but it had to be in a cost-effective way. This is a completely new design built from scratch,” adds Mr Sage.
Massively increased demand for Perspex screens has meant that mass producing the driver shields has been challenging, as have the logistics of sending technicians to London to install the units on site.
“As with many other companies in the transport sector, as soon as lockdown was announced commercial activity slowed considerably. But we remained open because many of our customers operate in key areas such as the food supply chain, which had high demand for deliveries,” adds Mr Sage.