Taxi Marshals in Norwich is Suspended

”We never asked for them, we never wanted them & we are glad to see the back of the marshals for a while & ticket machine too”  were the words of Norwich taxi legend Tommy Gotts who was laughing all the way to the chip shop after hearing the news! Tommy (pictured with another one of A2B’s  finest Alan Jolin) who voiced his displeasure in last weeks A2B Taxis news went on to say ”its a moral victory for hackney trade & public with the removal of the rip-off ticket machine & as for the marshals, they didn’t help themselves with their attitude recently something of which will  take a long time to repair.”

Now, the scheme has been suspended until funding can be found and support is secured from the Hackney Trade Association. It is hoped it will be reintroduced in the future.

Inspector Edward Brown from the Norfolk Night safe Partnership said: “The taxi marshal scheme helps clubbers and party-goers get into taxis after a night out in Norwich.

“In recent months the start up funding has come to an end so partners will be looking at ways to provide a viable, long term solution for taxi marshaling in the city” lets hope they just don’t take it for granted that the public will pay for it.

The decision to suspend the scheme was not taken lightly apparently & it is said that they will do their best to bring it back again later in the year so watch this space!

Until next time~ lets be safe out there

Your taxi news for Norwich commentator.

22 thoughts on “Taxi Marshals in Norwich is Suspended”

  1. Congratulations to the Taxi drivers, a great result. Einstein said “insanity is when you do the same thing expecting a different result”
    This is what happens when people stand together, instead of allowing a few to decide their fate. The sheeple of the world take this in, and learn to say No.

  2. Well said Allan and Tommy. This ridiculous idea was dreamt up by a couple of greedy people looking to profit from peoples fears. Let’s be realistic the rank only needs to be marshalled over the Christmas period anyway, I’m sure we can take care of ourselves the rest of time like we always have done.

  3. On a serious note, after 19 years involved in the Norwich taxi business, we have, at last seen solidarity amongst the ranks and stood up to the powers at be, and some unscruplious business people and have shown that we were not prepared to stand by and watch the general public pay for the taxi marshaling scheme via the totally unjust taxi meter installed on Tombland.
    There were many flaws in this “easy option” plan which included the non participation of the local bars, pubs and clubs in the area, in the ticket redemption scheme in which with the exception of the mustard lounge, non others had been consulted despite advertising to the contrary.
    Maybe at last the Norwich Hackney Trade Association will be recognized as a body of people who will justly and legally represent their members, and not be seen to “roll over” by the authorities.
    Well done to those who had the time to put in more time and effort to the cause than others.

  4. my message to julie thomas is that you are more likely to find trouble walking along the gaza strip(prince of wales rd) than waiting for a cab in tombland.fights occur outside nightclubs and take aways not whilst waiting for a gloria i say,if you think taxis are expensive than you have the choice of walking home,driving,or getting on your push bike.times i hear people moan about cab fares but think nothing of paying a 10 spot to enter a club,to say nothing of the cost of you shop at aldi by any chance!!as for taxi drivers only care about themselves ,how do you know that.i consider myself a decent being as are all cab drivers,who are all given a CRB CHECK every 3years.

  5. Mr Gotts and his supporters have had their rant and it is time to refute their distorted array of vicious innuendo, grossly distorted facts, blatant mis-information and sometimes libellous and cowardly accusations made against officers of the City Council in the knowledge they will not be allowed to retaliate.

    But, in the first place and in view of his personal attack against me, let me make it quite clear that I have no interest whatsoever in whether he (or they) personally dislikes me but I do resent the accusation that “hes (SIC) been a thorn in our side for many years & does nothing but harm our trade”.

    I am a frequent customer of black cabs, have been meticulously agreeable and courteous to their drivers and have been always generous to a fault in my recompense for their services. I have never made either private or public statements that might harm any of them and anybody who claims otherwise is a blatant liar. ?”

    It has been claimed that the taxi marshal scheme costs £20,000 which is simply not true. We have calculated that, according to the number of people who have used the rank since the marshals were introduced, records of which have been meticulously kept since their inception, if a levy of £1 were introduced per cab taken, £20,000 would be the income produced. That is quite different.

    Claims have been made that cabs have always picked up customers without the need for marshals to look after them so why now? Fifteen years ago there was an average of 7,000 people visiting the entertainment area of the city. Ten years ago that rose to 10,000. Today there are 19,000 people out there and 29,000 throughout the city every Friday and Saturday.

    Prior to 2003 pubs closed at 11pm and clubs at 3am. That is no longer true.

    It has been claimed that there is never any trouble on the rank so why the need for marshals? Again – not true. We have had numerous incidents reported where young, sometimes vulnerable people have got themselves into difficulties in Tombland and the marshals have come to their aid often with the generous help of cab drivers.

    It has only been possible to keep toilets open at night since the marshals agreed to supervise them. Without the marshals that will cease again and people will be left to urinate in the streets, doorways and gardens of residents.

    In the last two years crime statistics, which I regularly see and are routinely published, indicate quite clearly a steady reduction in crime, disorder and public order offences since the marshals were introduced. Those figures are unarguable unlike the wild statements being injected into the argument by detractors of the scheme.

    And finally, I have had hundreds of e-mails, telephone calls and letters from people who now visit the city centre at night only because they feel safe because the marshals have been there to provide protection while they wait for a cab.
    The levy we proposed was always going to be voluntary. It is not a charge for a cab as suggested. Its there simply to pay the marshals.

    The quite outrageous and vitriolic accusations made against Norwich Security Specialists and EventGuard who provide the marshals, do not merit and are not worth a response from me (or anybody else) since they are muck-raking twaddle and the obnoxious and cowardly disparagements of City Council officers are beneath contempt.

    We have negotiated with representatives of the Hackney Trade Association from the beginning. We have taken note of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, we have taken note of the cuts being made right, left and centre by local authorities and police forces throughout the country and, if we are to have marshals in the future as the general public have asked us to provide, we must find a way of funding them.

    All we have asked is to be allowed to let the public decide whether they are prepared to do so. Do you suppose Mr Gotts and his friends might be prepared to give them a chance rather than making the decision for them? Or maybe they haven’t yet heard. “We’re all in this together.”

  6. Dear Mr. Foster,

    In response to your comments, firstly I would like to clarify who you are, I have been a taxi driver for 15 years and am sorry to say that I have not heard of you are you connected to the taxi trade?
    Secondly you have some very valid points that I agree with and some I do not. I would like to see the marshal’s continue to work tombland but to get the public to pay £1 per taxi is a complete joke, put yourself in our shoes, your sat number 1 on the rank and 4 or 5 pissed blokes get into your cab they are straight away not happy because they have had to pay £1 just to get in the cab, who do you think they are going to take their anger out on? Obviously it will be us the taxi drivers.
    We all pay Norwich City Council over £200 each per year in licence fees with private hire and hackney that’s well over 1000 driver’s paying over £200 that totals over £200000, we get nothing back from the Council for this money apart from a badge around our necks and a plate on the back of our cab’s. Why cant the scheme be funded from this revenue?
    The comments made about Norwich City Council and their staff are drivers own views, they feel let down by people who are in authority and yes they are going to be angry.
    You go on to say “And finally, I have had hundreds of e-mails, telephone calls and letters from people who now visit the city center at night only because they feel safe because the marshals have been there to provide protection while they wait for a cab”
    I have also picked up hundreds of people who have said they would not pay the £1 charge.
    You also say that the toilets will have to be closed because the marshal’s will not be there to supervise them, if this is the case could you explain why a taxi driver was given the toilet keys to unlock them at a weekend?
    Also the numbers that are given to the amount of people that use the rank are and correct me if I am wrong questionable, I was told by a marshal that they were told click every person who got into a cab, so if 7 people got into a cab it would be 7 clicks but really it should only be 1 because it is only 1 job and only 1 taxi, so if ten 7 seaters pull away fully loaded that is only ten jobs not seventy jobs.

    As I have already said I am not sure who you are but if you are connected to the council or if you are someone who stands to gain financially from this scheme, you should ask Norwich City Council what our license fees are used for and why this scheme could not be funded from our fees.

    S Bartram

  7. Oh dear. It can be hard to admit when one has made an ill thought out decision or blunder, what a shame Mr Foster couldn’t have done so in a dignified manner. It was obviously not noted by Mr Foster that it was not only “Mr Gotts and his supporters” who boycotted Tombland rank but in fact all of the hackney carriage drivers! If Mr Fosters social skills were as good as his numerical/linguistic maybe he could have comunicated with us and saved himself this embarrassment! The planned boycott was no secret, it could’ve been easily been avoided.

    I think having the rank on Tombland marshaled is a good thing but this is not the right way to go about funding it. The anti-social behaviour is caused by the excessive amounts of alcohol consumed and it should be the establishments that are proffiting from this that fund the marshals, not the taxi customers. I also agree with Mr Bartram about our licence fees helping to fund the project and also question where this money is currently allocated? It certainly isn’t put towards enforcement looking at the state of some of the taxis and their drivers let alone the private hire vehicles picking up illegaly off the streets which has gotten completely out of control.

    The comments regarding Event Guard and Norwich City Council are probably not without reason and should not be dismissed.

    Myself and many of the other drivers are getting fed up with being undervalued and disregarded by Norwich City Council. We are an integral part of the mechanics of this city and deserve better.

    The public let me know what they thought about paying a pound to use a taxi rank whilst chatting with me in the back of my cab, maybe that’s why I chose to boycott the scheme. Mr Foster could try to listen to us more because if anyone knows more about the taxi trade in this city surely it is us, the cabbies.

  8. In response to mr fosters running on I would like to add that as taxi drivers we were not opposed to the marshal scheme but we were opposed to the fact that firstly no could explain where all the money raised from this £1 levy was going, apart from lining a few people’s pockets perhaps? Secondly people were not getting value for money as frequently the marshals would leave early or on a few occasions just leave people to their own devices whilst they sat in their car to keep warm.
    And thirdly the fact is the city is just not busy enough week in week out to warrant this scheme especially when on a pay weekend when it is busier the Que does not form till about 3am and where are the marshalls then? Oh yes they have gone home . A reasonable idea but very poorly executed I’m afraid with no one prepared to listen to the people it affects most us. if the scheme was still running where would the marshalls be on the busiest night of Easter weekend ie Sunday ?? But I guess bad people only play up fri and sat night between 10pm and 2.45 am.

  9. What needs to happen now, is a constructive dialogue between all parties directly connected with this scheme. I personally never work beyond 6pm, and certainly not saturday at all. But if the Hackney Trade Association, Norwich City council and other parties could meet and find a solution this is the way forward.

    There are a lot of issues that can be ironed out, and and a solution found to suit all. In my previous life with london underground, the way we as management would get aggreement would be to “give ownership” to those affected by any policy.
    By allowing people ( Taxi drivers) to be involved in the construction of such a scheme would have resulted in a successful resolution for all.

    I hope that a constructive dialogue can come out of this, where all peoples voices can be heard. And adopted for any future schemes.

  10. If “according to Mr Foster” , Tombland is unsafe , and I don’t agree with the statement, its the safest ive know it in the 32yrs ive been a Private Hire & Hackney Driver, who works the streets at night in & around Norwich, not just look at/qoute questionable figures, why is there Not a Police presense ? as there was on the fri night We the Taxi Trade boycotted the Tombland Rank, at one time upto 8 Officers were in attendence , or have the Tax paying public of which Taxi Drivers are also , got to rely on Marshals for there personnal safety , when it is Norfolk Police’s job to ensure this, instead of putting all there eggs in one basket on POW Rd !

  11. Right, let’s make a start with dealing with the misunderstandings and misconceptions which I am happy to do though I flatly refuse to engage with people who simply want to be rude and abusive.

    Mr Bartram asks who I am. The Steering Group that set up the marshal scheme is made up of several partners – Norwich City Licensing Forum (CNLF) the Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum (CNCF), Norwich City Centre Partnership (NCCP), Norwich City Council (NCC), Norfolk Constabulary (NC) Norwich Security Specialists Ltd and EventGuard. I am the elected Chairman of the CNCF whose aim is to assist people who live in Norwich city centre, about 12,000 of them, to take an active part in civil society and learn how to get the best possible value services available to them from the public bodies appointed to serve them. I am not paid by anyone; I don’t even get my expenses refunded and I work about 45 hours every week for absolutely no remuneration for doing the job. My organisation is non party political, totally inclusive and available to anybody over the age of 15. I am also the elected Chairman of the Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (City Centre) for which I also get paid absolutely zilch.

    Mr Bartram then asks what he is to answer his 4 or 5 “pissed blokes …. not happy because they have to pay £1 just to get in the cab”. Firstly, they don’t have to pay the £1, it’s voluntary. Second, they are not asked to pay the £1 to get in his cab; it’s to pay for the marshals. Thirdly, he would not have to have 4 or 5 pissed blokes in his cab if he had allowed the marshals to do what they were originally asked to do but had to stop doing because the cab drivers objected.

    They were originally instructed not to allow drunks in any cab nor allow anybody into a cab who carried booze or food with them. They were supposed to ask where the customer wished to go, ask the driver how much the cost was estimated to be and to ask the passenger to hand over the cash before the journey commenced. At the destination, if the fare had been miscalculated, the driver could adjust the charge but at least he knew he had the money and the customer would not do a runner. All this was calculated to make the cab driver safer but it had to be stopped because the cab drivers objected.

    Then Mr Bartram asks why the licence fee paid to the Licensing Authority shouldn’t be used to pay the taxi marshals. So ask them, not me. Norwich City Council acts as Licensing Authority and does only what the Government empowers it to do. No more and no less. It is not allowed by law to make a profit from your licence fees and it charges what the Government tells it to charge so I know what the answer will be. But ask them if you want to. But please don’t slag off Mr Streeter as others did and have now had to withdraw their grossly unfair and vile accusations. Mr Streeter is the Licensing Manager; therefore he manages the City Council’s licensing functions for them. So ask the Chairman of the Licensing Committee if that’s what you want to do and Mr Streeter will pass on his answer to you.

    Mr Bartram continues his comments by saying its not true that the public toilets were opened again only because the marshals were there because he knows that a cab driver was given the toilet key to unlock them at weekends. I know of no evidence to substantiate that but, if it is true, perhaps he should ask that driver if he is content to accept the risk of being responsible for any accident, unlawful act or drug transaction that took place in either of the toilets when he had provided access to the public because that’s the risk he takes on when he acts as custodian of the building. I suggest he would be wiser to leave it to those qualified to take that responsibility as the marshals did when they were there.

    And finally, Mr Bartram asks if we accurately calculated the numbers using the rank because he was told “by a marshal that they were told click every person who got into a cab, so if 7 people got into a cab it would be seven clicks but really it should only be one because it is only one job and only 1 taxi, so if ten 7 seaters pull away loaded that is only ten jobs not seventy jobs”. Does he really think we would be that naïve? In the two year trial of the taxi marshal scheme 132,000 people were put into 44,000 cabs by the marshals. Doesn’t that prove how successful it was?

    And Ollie said on 14th April why didn’t we talk to the cab drivers before dreaming up such a scheme. We did is the answer. Every step of the way over two years we consulted with the official representative of the Norwich Hackney Carriage Trade Association and the Association had every opportunity to engage in discussions with us.

  12. there are one two points i would like to ask as regarding the taxi marshaling scheme in Norwich.
    Firstly, did the partners mentioned above actually approach the pubs,bars and night clubs in relation to the redeemable tickets purchased at the Tombland rank as was advertised?
    despite consultation with Norfolk police regarding crime figures in and around the the night club areas of Norwich,why was the marshaling scheme piloted in Tombland and not where the vast majority of the trouble occurs, which as every policeman,wpc,community officer and door staff knows is in the Prince of wales area?
    Why in regards to the funding of this scheme, were the bars,pubs and clubs not ask to make a significant contribution,and not take it for granted that the general public should foot the bill?
    Why is it that this method of payment came directly to the door of the hackney trade and not in any shape or form has the private hire trade been asked to make a contribution?
    Has the licensing authority visited the prince of wales road in the early hours of the morning and witnessed the the large crowds of people congregating outside the private hire firms and the amount of traffic involved and wondered if this has had any impact with regards antisocial behaviour?
    The marshaling scheme was operational between the hours or 10pm and 3am and there has been comments about the number of lone single females using the tombland rank because they feel safer.
    After the hours of 3am the streets of Norwich are not void of lone single females and any other vulnerable persons.
    These people will continue to use this rank, the vast amount of people are honest law abiding citizens,and in the unlikely event of any trouble on tombland, there will be help available via the public and or the cab driver nearest,either private hire or hackney.
    I for one am not against the idea of the marshaling scheme, but have genuine queries as regards the funding and operation.
    Did anyone from the authorities witness the bully boy tactics of the 5 security staff operating on tombland?
    Two members of this security firm were stationed outside the estate agents on the opposite side of the road to the rank, discouraging people from using the hackney cabs and telling them to take cab from the prince of wales road.
    The gentlemen from the same firm standing on the rank handing out business cards from a local private hire firm and making calls to the same firm requesting cars to be sent round.
    This all adds up to a mess which could and should have been avoided if executed in the correct manner from the outset.
    This matter seems to be holding the hackney trade solely responsible for its tempoary demise which in my opinion is truly unfair.

  13. In reply once again to Mr Forster comment when he says he acts for all residents in the norwich area then it’s a petty they dint show concern for the cab drivers who are also residents trying to earn a living in this city. Where is the concern for people when we constantly drive around during the day using valuable diesel up because there are no rank spaces because there are so Many cabs fighting over 27 permanent rank spaces?where is the concern that our business and takings have almost halved in the last 3years?where is the concern when I can come out for 8 hours and take £16.80 before expenses? Where is the concern from anybody from that we can’t get on the part time ranks on prince of Wales road on the times when we can make some money because the ranks are full of police vans and private hire vehicles illegally parked?? The fact is none of you are concerned for the taxi service at all even though we provide a valuable service to the public who have no other means of getting home when they have been for a night out . The fact is no one in the council police or the other quangos give a damn about us our livelihoods or families .

  14. And on Mr Forster’s point about the marshalls being instructed not to allow persons who are drunk or have food to get in a cab what a load of trouble the decision is ours and ours only who we allow in our cabs and if we didn’t allow these people in we would never make any money at all. And he says the £1 levy was voluntary well perhaps you should tell that to mr Barber who I witnessed walking people to the machine telling them to put a £1 in to pay for the marshalls with no mention about it being voluntary at all and which 2 female customers I picked up found very intimidating.

  15. Dear Mr Foster,

    Thank you for your promt reply and for clarifying who you are, you are to be admired for putting in all of your time into these causes with no gain for yourself.

    Just a few points I would like to make, firstly you say ” he would not have to have 4 or 5 pissed blokes in his cab if he had allowed the marshals to do what they were originally asked to do but had to stop doing because the cab drivers objected,” it was not just me that stopped the marshals doing their job it was the majority of the drivers who boycotted the rank, also I would have to pick up drunk people wether the marshals were there or not, the councils by-laws state we can only refuse a fare if the passanger is dead or has a infectious disease.

    You also say “They were originally instructed not to allow drunks in any cab nor allow anybody into a cab who carried booze or food with them. They were supposed to ask where the customer wished to go, ask the driver how much the cost was estimated to be and to ask the passenger to hand over the cash before the journey commenced. At the destination, if the fare had been miscalculated, the driver could adjust the charge but at least he knew he had the money and the customer would not do a runner. All this was calculated to make the cab driver safer but it had to be stopped because the cab drivers objected” again we are not legally allowed to refuse anybody with food or drink, Mr. Streeter I am sure will tell you this. Also it is not really the marshals business where we take our customers and as for asking for payment for us I dont think the marshals should do this.

    Thank you for clarifying the figures for me and where our fees go and no I do not think you are naïve.
    I have not as you say “But please don’t slag off Mr Streeter as others did” I like Ian and I have a lot of time for him.

    I think the marshal scheme should have been introduced on Prince of Wales road where it would have benefited a lot of people but again this is my opinion.

    Lastly I would like to invite you to come and join us on a friday or saturday night as an observer only just to see our side of this, I have 2 drivers who are willing to do this unfortunatly I can not do this myself because I have no front seat in my taxi.

    Kind Regards

    S Bartram

  16. I have no faith what so ever in the marshals, on one occasion last year I picked up off the Tombland rank as I was about to pull out 2 youngsters through food threw food through my drivers window, I got out & there was a confrontation. The marshals just stood & watched even though they could see I needed help! Drivers will help other drivers but the marshals are not interested.

  17. It’s Sunday and the sun is out but I’d rather clear up some of the obvious misunderstandings, misinformation and sheer bloody mindedness that is becoming clear as a result of this correspondence.

    Jonny B asks if we mentioned the scheme to venue owners that they might refund the voluntary £1 levy from the machine to customers presenting a valid receipt and the answer is of course we did. Every ‘Designated Premises Supervisor’ (DPS) operating a licensed premise in Norwich is automatically a member of the Norwich City Licensing Forum which meets every first Wednesday of each month at Mercy nightclub and, every month, members have been updated for the past two years on the progress made towards making the taxi marshal scheme self supporting. Three months ago we introduced the proposal that venues which wished to do so might offer a refund to customers submitting a valid receipt and that proposal was unanimously agreed. The minutes record that decision and all minutes are circulated by e-mail to all members. Stickers have been supplied to enable those who wish to do so to advertise that they subscribe to the scheme.

    He goes on to ask why we didn’t introduce the scheme in Prince of Wales Road rather than in Tombland because there is potentially more danger there than in Tombland. It was always our intention to do so – first one in Prince of Wales Road, second one in Tombland and third one on Riverside but, when we started to plan it, we discovered we were going to be in conflict with other proposals being put forward to reconfigure the traffic flow there as part of the Norwich Area Transport Strategy (NATS) which was due to be introduced in five years time. We wanted to ban private cars after midnight from the bottom end of Prince of Wales Road from St Vedast Street to the river and to create a new, larger taxi rank there but the City and County Councils were unhappy about us doing this when they, in a few years time, wished to add a contra-flow system in Prince of Wales Road. Therefore we had no choice but to start the scheme in Tombland.

    He then asks why the private hire car firms were not asked to pay towards the scheme. How could we possibly ask them to do so when they benefited not at all from it? We did ask the pubs, bars, clubs and takeaways to contribute towards a voluntary levy and for some months last year, thanks in large part to Steve Peri’s initiative in sponsoring this proposal, they did so but it soon became evident that most would not sustain their contributions and we had absolutely no means of making them do so. The cost of raising the levy was prohibitive and that of chasing the non-payers was also unsustainable. So the scheme was dropped.

    Jonny B then asks whether the Licensing Authority has visited Prince of Wales Road in the early hours to see the chaos there and the straightforward answer is that I have no idea. But I have and we have, all of us, on many occasions and we are well aware that the crowds at night continue until 6am. The only reason why the taxi marshals didn’t remain until the same time is that we couldn’t afford to pay them. But we could have if those using the rank had paid the voluntary £1 levy and we had every intention that they should.

    He continues by asking whether anybody witnessed what happened on the Friday night when the cab drivers boycotted the rank and moved over the street to the feeder rank outside Caffe Uno and the answer is an emphatic yes. I had asked the Team Leader at the City Council’s CCTV centre to keep a watching brief on the area and he has a recording of exactly what took place. I also alerted the police inspector in charge of the public order patrol to what was happening (it was my duty to do so as Chairman of the City Centre SNAP) and the officer in charge of the Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO) in case there was need for parking enforcement action to be instituted. I know precisely the actions that were taken by our Taxi Marshals which nobody else can possibly know because they did not hear the conversations that took place. However, let’s be clear, they had every right to inform the public of the availability of private hire cars when there are no Hackneys on the rank. This they did though they did not themselves call for private hire cars and their phone records prove it.

    As to his concerns about the falling trade taxi drivers have recently experienced he, and they, have my complete sympathy and, insofar as any of those taxi drivers live within the boundaries of the constituency my Forum serves, we will do anything we can to help them though I am bound to say that it has been clear for many years now that there have been many more licenses issued than the trade can sustain and action to remedy that should have been taken a long time ago.

    That, I think, also answers Matty’s comments.

    Mr Bartram has now returned with more points to make following my last comments. In spite of his assertion that he is required by law to pick up fares whether drunk or not I can only say that there is no requirement of any law that a taxi driver must put his safety and that of his cab at risk by allowing drunk passengers in his cab and, if he finds himself defending such a case in the magistrates court I will come and defend him myself!

    Of course all transactions by way of trade must be between the taxi driver and his passenger. That I understand but there is absolutely no reason why a taxi driver shouldn’t seek the assistance of a qualified and SIA registered security officer assigned to assist him. That, after all, is what happens when a venue owner installs security staff outside his doors.

    I would be glad to accept Mr Bartram’s kind invitation to ride in his cab at night if it were possible but I assure him, and others, that I am well aware of what can happen and I am fully aware of what occurs on the streets of this city at night. I take my job very seriously even though I am not paid to do it.

    As to the accusation made by JL there can be no adequate answer. If it is true (and I do not doubt him) it should have been reported and dealt with and any such incident, if reported immediately, will be investigated by the police and dealt with if the fault is proven.

  18. Thank you everyone who participated on this topic. Clearly there has been some misunderstandings, also some valid points for & against the scheme.

  19. The demise of the taxi marshals and the way in which it was achieved must go down in history as one of the Norwich Hackney Drivers Greatest achievments.It has brought about a togetherness of drivers that has,nt been seen for years.I recently published a newsletter with the intention of getting the drivers back together and joining the NHDA
    I’m sure you will agree with me sticking together like we did over the charging of the public to get into our cabs was a nice feeling.
    Boycotting the tombland rank was a great success and shows what can be achieved when we all sing from the same sheet.
    If your not a member of the assn please at least think of joining.
    The newsletter was a success and it was voted that we continued to publish a newsletter on a regular basis If there is any drivers reading this that would like to contribute to the “new bulletin”.please send me an article or a letter and we will publish in next months bulletin.
    At the end of the day it will be your newsletter if you wish to sell something just send me an e mail.We need to make this work it is for everyone of us. long may we stick together. Any suggestions .Ian

  20. “actions that were taken by our Taxi Marshals which nobody else can possibly know because they did not hear the conversations that took place. However, let’s be clear, they had every right to inform the public of the availability of private hire cars when there are no Hackneys on the rank. This they did though they did not themselves call for private hire cars and their phone records prove ”
    An extract from Mr Fosters letter dated April 17th Regarding the actions of the marshals on the infamous friday night.I must beg to differ He says “they had the right to inform the public of the availability of private hire cars when there are no Hackneys on the rank.” If you would like to check Mr Foster the cabs were actually parked on a legal hackney carriage rank .At no time did any hackney driver do anything illegal.Unlike the marshals.

  21. As most people know I like to keep myself to myself,and not take part in any of the gossip concerning Taxis etc,but I feel justified in raising some issues regarding the marshaling scheme.
    Some of you may have read a letter I had published in the E.E.N in which I addressed a couple of questions to Mr Foster,so at the risk of being boring I would like to ask once more why he told me when he was in my cab that in no way would the public or the drivers have to pay for funding the marshals.
    Secondly I surprised to see that Mr. Foster recieves no payment for his services to his self appointed ,unelected quango,so perhaps he would be good enough to explain why he was bemoaning the fact in an interview with the E.E.N. that the council were considering withdrawing
    the £3,000 grant that they have been receiving,surely if Mr. Foster is such an advocate of self funding he should practice what he preaches and ask the 300+ members he claims to have to dip in their pockets.
    Mr. Foster claims to represent 12,000 people who reside in the inner city.,strange that both my daughter,niece,and grandson all live in the city centre,all are in the higher income bracket[unlike me] and yet have never heard of the various bodies that he chairs.
    It would seem that Mr.Foster is still adamant that marshals will be installed on Prince Of Wales Rd and I have to ask why? I stand to be corrected but I believe his latest scheme would involve
    moving the rank at Mercys to outside Quickfit tyres,Icannot see why moving from a rank which is heavily policed all night 100yds down the road is any advantage.
    ,unless of course the owner of Mercys wanted to start his own cab companyI. [I can feel another boycott coming on already]
    Again I stand to be corrected,but I belive that Mr Foster,some years ago failed in his bid to be elected to the City council and ever since then has been trying to run the city by the back door,I am also sure that he knew the Tombland fiasco was doomed from the outset,but rather than be seen with egg on his face he let it run its course so that he could blame the cab drivers
    Regards Andy

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