UP TO 300 taxi drivers rallied in Dublin today over a range of issues they say are affecting them. They said that they are concerned about the affects that the taxi regulations are having on their livelihood.
Their concerns stem from proposals in a consultation paper on reforms to the industry that is being considered by the government.
Christopher Humphrey of the National Private Hire and Taxi Association, said that the issues they were protesting over include:
The oversupply of taxis
The lack of parking facilities
The ranks being taken away from us
A rally held last month by taxi drivers at Dáil Éireann, highlighted concerns proposed in a consultation paper on reforms to the Taxi industry that is being considered by the government.
(Similar to our Law Commission Review)
The reforms include the introduction of a local area hackney system with lowering of entry level, standards for wheelchair accessible vehicles and credit card transaction costs being imposed on drivers.
(As we are seeing in this years fares review)
It is also proposed that a number of key taxi ranks in Dublin be removed.
(Something that's already been happening in London, unabated for many years)
Junior minister Alan Kelly they are bringing in legislation to ban advertising from taxis, which a lot of drivers get revenue from.
“Basically as the regulations are being hammered out here we’re being crucified,” said Humphrey, who described the issues as “only the tip of the iceberg”.
Humphreys said he also has a problem with drivers having to take credit cards for any amount because there is not a cap on the amount paid.
A meeting is due to take place tomorrow between the NTA and an advisory committee, which will make recommendations on the issues.
If taxi drivers aren’t happy, there will be “an awful lot more protests”, said Humphrey.