It seems that Hackney cab drivers in Lancaster have been getting a raw deal of late.
United Utilities works at the bus station has resulted in the city’s main taxi rank being shunted to Dalton Square until 2015.
Outside the gyratory system and far away from the city centre’s late night activities, as well as from those who have mobility issues, the move has been considered unfair and unworkable by many in the trade, and “not ideal” by everyone else.
Drivers say their takings have fallen drastically since the move. Add to this the tightening up of rules about where a Hackney cab can or can’t wait for a fare and it’s fair to say many drivers have a bee in their bonnet.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that rules must be observed – last week’s magistrates court verdict (page 8) put that into perspective, despite protestations from the trade’s national representatives.
The city council has a public duty to ensure the taxi trade is properly regulated, but also to ensure that there are enough taxi ranks available for self employed drivers. It would be great to see the council and the trade working together again.
Tensions have certainly been high, but under the difficult circumstances, surely there’s a middle ground here?