Taxi drivers in Norwich have called on the council to limit the number of black cabs allowed to operate in Norwich, saying the city is so flooded with them & that we are struggling to make a living.
There are currently 217 licensed black cabs in the city & there is not enough rank space within the city. The trouble is people who have lost their jobs in the recession are turning to cab driving and there are simply not enough fares or space to go around. Officers are drawing up a report on whether that might be possible and are asking members of the public whether they think limiting them is a good idea, but here at A2B Taxis Norwich we think its already too late & at the speed the council in Norwich works it will be a while before any action is done.
Andy Scullion (pictured above) is in no doubt Norwich is already at saturation point for black cabs. He said: “Just in the last couple of years we have seen more people becoming taxi drivers & we are lucky here at A2B taxis that we have regular customers & don’t rely totally on rank work like other cabbies.”
“You get a situation where people lose their jobs and they look to taxi driving to earn a living. Sooner or later you came to a saturation point and I think we have got there a couple of years ago. If you go to the taxi rank at the railway station you often see them stretching all the way back around the car park. Mr Scullion said, with insurance costs soaring by 25pc for many drivers and sky high diesel prices, limiting the number of licences was vital to keep taxi drivers in work.”
The council cannot legally refuse to licence a hackney carriage (black cab) once licensing conditions have been satisfied. It can only refuse an application for a hackney carriage vehicle licence to limit numbers if it is satisfied there is no significant ‘unmet demand’ for taxi services within the city. In order to figure out if that is the case. the council might need to bring in consultants to carry out a survey – the cost of which would have to be recouped from hackney carriage vehicle licence fees, not surprising that us taxi drivers will have to foot the bill as the council are already millions in debt!
Fares for Hackney carriages, which are the taxis you can ‘flag down’ at a taxi rank, off the street or booked by phone on 01603 613613 are set by the city council. The city council also licences private hire vehicles, which have to be pre – booked.
Until next time lets be safe out there.
Your taxi news for Norwich commentator.