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Cleaning matters for people – and vehicles – on the move

03 June 2014

Reducing carbon emissions is a key tenet of environmental policy for governments across the world, and one way to do this is to encourage more of us to get out of our cars and use other means of transport.

However, in order to entice us from the freedom that car driving provides, transport services and systems need to be fast, efficient, smooth-running, affordable – and clean.

The UK’s passenger transport sector includes trains, buses, coaches and planes, and these all need to be kept clean in order to increase customer satisfaction and improve the ‘traveller experience’. Dirty, rubbish-strewn carriages do nothing to enhance the image of the travel provider, or reduce the spread of infections, so regular, rigorous cleaning regimes, carried out by correctly qualified operatives are crucially important.

Cleaning in these types of environments has its own particular challenges – with time constraints perhaps the most important. Cleaning has to fit in with timetables and transport schedules, meaning that a tight turnaround is often required. Just think how quickly budget airlines have to disembark passengers, clean and restock, before the next passengers embark. Sometimes cleaning will be done while passengers are on board, so operatives will need good customer service and communication skills; and there are also the issues of cleaning upholstery, graffiti removal and specialist safety flooring to contend with.

WAMITAB recognises that this specialist cleaning sector needs its own qualification, and so it offers the Passenger Transport Cleaning Employability Programme. It is made up of nine different Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) units, including:

  • Reduce risks to health and safety in the workplace
  • Do your job in a customer friendly way
  • Internal cleaning of passenger transport
  • Deal with waste, recyclables, lost property and suspicious packages when cleaning
  • Cleaning surfaces using correct methods and equipment

Transport issues are big news, and with projects like Crossrail and HS2, plus continuing debate about an extra runway for either Heathrow or Gatwick, they are unlikely to drop off the political agenda any time soon. A transport system that is fit for purpose is essential to the development of the UK economy, in terms of tourism and domestic business. Keeping our public modes of transport clean is therefore essential, so it’s only right that the operatives we charge with this important role have their own specialist qualification.

Written by Chris James, CEO of WAMITAB