Taxi drivers in Burton have told how they are battling on as the coronavirus outbreak has wiped out most of their business.
Many make their living ferrying people to and from East Midlands and Birmingham airports, but as flights have been cancelled during the outbreak, their trade has been obliterated over night.
Drivers have also noted how errie Burton now is during the lockdown as people are forced to stay in their homes and the usually bustling roads and town centre fall silent.
But they have also told how they are determined to carry on and provide a service to the town where they can.
Mohammad Tariq, 54, owns Falcon Cars, in Anglesey Road, said: “Since the schools in the area have shut down, our trade has been affected massively.
“We currently have five drivers who work for Falcon Cars and all of the drivers are concerned about how they are going to operate.
“A lot of our jobs are airport runs, with flights being cancelled and people not leaving the country, those jobs are getting less as the days go on.
“We have a lot of clients who are based in Burton and I want to say, on behalf of Falcon Cars, if anyone needs any assistance, especially if they are elderly or have young children, do get in touch with us and we will do our best to support them.
“A lot of customers are elderly and been using Falcon cars for a long time, so I will be personally calling them to make sure they are okay and if they need any assistance.”
Another taxi driver, Mohammad Tanvir, who works for 43 cars, in Worthington Way, said so far almost 80 per cent of his work has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The 42-year-old, who is also a member of Anglesey Parish Council, said: “ We have lost a lot of business since the coronavirus news broke.
“People are staying indoors, and we are receiving very few calls for taxis.
“We are based very close to town centre and I have never seen the town centre so quiet.
“The drivers are really worried, being self-employed at this moment of time is very difficult and I hope the situation improves for everyone, not just taxi drivers.
“It’s very important for the community of Burton to work together and look out for each other.
“If anyone needs our assistance, we will be more than happy to help them, especially those who are vulnerable.”
Abid Hussain, owner of Premier Taxis in Station Street, is offering free taxis to all NHS staff who are working at Queen’s Hospital.
The 39-year-old said: “ We need to support those who are working tirelessly to help others.
“It’s currently a very difficult situation for everyone and if we can all support one another it can make a lot of difference.
“The taxi services in Burton are all struggling due to people not coming out, but that doesn't mean we can't help one another.
“School runs, hospital runs and airport runs are practically non- existent, but there are still a lot of people out there who need help and support.”