Tombland taxi Marshals!

Norwich’s taxi marshal scheme in Tombland is the first self-supporting scheme in the country and should be the last as its not needed here according to many drivers including one of Norwich’s finest Tommy Gotts ( pictured ) ” We’ve managed for decades without Marshals, its a total waste of time & as for the ticket machine? asking people to pay a pound to get in a taxi! that’s a total rip-off ” Tommy added.

”Our customers will be asked to pay £1 per cab into a ticket machine in Tombland to use the service, maybe we should have another one in our cab saying tip box! Whoever thought up these ideas must be living in cuckoo land. We don’t want the marshals or the ticket machine full stop.”

The taxi marshal scheme, which costs £20,000 a year, started two years ago and was funded until December last year by local businesses, the Safer Neighbourhood partnership, Norfolk Constabulary, Norwich City Council, and, latterly, the Norwich Night safe Partnership fund, but taxi drivers were never consulted as to do we actually need it. But public money for the scheme ran out and organiser’s want taxi customers to pay for the service by making a £1 voluntary contribution per cab journey, yeah right! Customers can then get their money refunded by showing a valid pay and display ticket to a participating venue of which I’m sure they won’t bother with.

Tommy has gained legendary status within  taxi fraternity over the past 30 years, known & respected by many went on to say ”Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum, which is one of the partners behind the scheme, knows nothing about taxis, in fact I don’t mind saying I dislike him, hes been a thorn in our side for many years & does nothing but harm our trade.”

Marshals work at the Tombland rank, which is mainly used by clubbers, between 10pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, but last Saturday they went home early as they did Friday night. Over 1000 people in Norwich use the taxi rank every weekend, reports claim violent crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre have fallen year on year since the introduction of the scheme, and the marshals also provide a secure radio link to the police and CCTV and can help hackney carriage drivers in dealing with intoxicated, violent and aggressive people, which is a total lie as one of our drivers had a problem with abusive drunks last year & the marshals did nothing but watch.

Tommy added ”hackney drivers want to make it clear to the public that we would continue to pick up customers from the Tombland rank irrespective of whether they had paid the £1 or not &  went  further by actively discouraging the purchase of a ticket. We (taxi drivers) have been treated disgustingly for far too long in Norwich by the council, the problems in Norwich would never happen in other parts of the country. I’ve got the bit between my teeth this time!”

Until next time~ lets be safe out there!

Your taxi news for Norwich commentator.

13 thoughts on “Tombland taxi Marshals!”

  1. ” Taxi Marshalls ” , ” Safer Scheme ” ? What a Joke , When It Was Busy in Tombland, when most of the Clubs were situated there a few years back , we had no marshalls , so Why Now ? & when or where will it Stop, will they then Deem it nessarsary to have Marshalls on Prince of Wales Rd ( already in pipeline ) if Tombland deemed a success , then Riverside/ Guildhall Ranks ? I say NO to Private companies Marshalling Ranks, Its just a Money- Making Scheme for Barber & Adventgaurd , do the sums if they take a Pound off every customer on a fri & sat night thats a lot of money & how much do they pay the marshals ( 2 ) not alot , a nice little profit off the Backs of OUR TRADE ! And after the Stunt Barber & His “Muscle” pulled fri night calling up private hire cars to OUR RANK & giving OUR Customers the same private hire co bussiness card to call themselves , I say the Council & Taxi Trade should have no dealings with Barber or any of his employees /assocciates Fullstop, He showed no regard for the Taxi Trade/Drivers & the Safety of Our Customers , We Stuck together then & Must do so always , No Surrender to Bully Boy Tactics, which incidently Back-fired Massively , cause we’re more Fired Up & Anti Barbers Marshalls now .

  2. How satisfying to see the Trade finally stick together on this charade being played on Tombland. Why should Taxi customers pay for the poor management of Norwich City Council, if this was some wishy washy green scheme, they would pour money into it.

    I am disappointed by any prospect of. ‘Conflicting intererests’ being mentioned and obviously this would be a matter for investigation by the Ombudsman.

    Well said Tom and Becks

  3. Steve Barber is furious with you cabbies, I agree with you all 100% why should people pay £1 just to get in a cab. It does not cost £20,000 as stated in the press to run this scheme more like £8,500. I have heard that the plan is that once the scheme is pulled he will put a couple of his lumps in the unmanned taxi queue too start a fight then he is going to go to the press say that there is violence on the rank as soon as the marshals are not there and blame it on you cabbies.

  4. The council are a joke, always have been. Big on taking money for fees without giving anything back to the trade. They are millions in debt doesn’t that tell you something about them?

  5. It was obvious from the outset of the marsall scheme what the council was up to.The marsalls right from the start counted the amount of cabs and coustomers using tombland.Norwich City Council wants the public too believe that Norwich is a safe city well why dont they show it,why should the public pay for they own safety,why should the public have a 20 per cent increase on a 5 pound fare.Norwich is not a Newcastle or a Sheffield,Norwich is only busy for about 4-5 hours on a Sat night.As for safety on taxi ranks Norwich hackney drivers do a great job marsaling the ranks from which they work from,and they are some great general public willing too step in if someone is in trouble,so come on Norwich City Council start looking after the people you work for and not riping them off

  6. You people need to wake up! Marshaling is the New World Order in action – we lowly Black Rats are privileged and groundbreaking puppets!

    I understand, from Tommy’s mate, that more than a few places with (currently) centrally funded Taxi Marshal schemes are watching Norwich with interest – they want to know weather their voters will stand for it.

    So, now is the time for every public spirited Norwich Black Cab driver to do his duty and send a clear message to all who are interested as to how we and our customers are affected by the ego of politics and the greed of entrepreneurs. Remember, the Norfolk Boy never got anywhere by sitting on the fence.

  7. Well said tommy, I hear the Marshals have gone, we should all stick together from now on………..

  8. I am a regular user of the taxi rank In Tombland and was shocked when I found out that there were no drivers supporting this brilliant idea, it is strange that all you anonymous people with negative comments are you all one person?
    As a single female I found it safe and convenient to use and would have no problem paying a pound to keep the marshals there,
    I will no longer use to rank as I do not fancy fighting someone to get home jt

  9. Seems to me that all you lot seem to worry far too much about yourselves and not the public that you make your living from ???

  10. perhaps TJ and julie thomas, you should actually read properly what has been said by the cab drivers before you make a comment.
    The Hackney cab drivers are not opposed to the idea and the practice of the marshalling scheme, they are protesting about the way in which the funding was being raised to pay for it.
    Why should the general public be called upon again to stump up the money for this scheme, where as the night clubs, bars and pubs will not be asked to contribute bearing in mind that they are the ones who profit from the public bringing there trade into the city.
    This taxi marshalling scheme should have been trialled somewhere down the prince of wales road where all the trouble occurs and not on tombland.
    Do you think that when the marshalls finish their shift at 3am the city is completly empty of people?
    We are still picking people up as late as 5.30am due to the licensing laws, so where are the marshalls then?
    Do all single vunerable females only venture out between the hours of 10pm to 3am? and only use the tombland rank?
    We as taxi drivers will carry on and police our own ranks as we always have done.

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