Thursday, January 07, 2016

A Level Playing Field!...Be Careful What You Wish For.


Local private hire drivers in Belfast are set to sit down with the Environment Committee at Stormont today (Thursday) to state their case as they call for political support for proposals to reshape the taxi industry.

In Belfast both Private hire and Public Taxis are referred to as Taxis.

Public and private hire Taxis currently operate under different rules, public and private hire, determined by the colour of their licensing plates, but the Department of the Environment wants to bring them all into line to operate under one new licence.

Under the plans in the Taxi Act, customers would for the first time be able to hail any taxi from the side of the road, ending the need to pre-book the private hire cars as all taxis would run under a reformed single-tier licensing system.

Drivers from outside Belfast would also be able to come into the city centre and work, meaning an increase in the number of vehicles available at peak times.

The plans were due to be implemented several times in recent years but have seen delay after delay. Sinn Féin and the DUP expressed concern at the impact on public taxi drivers, which has seen the proposal stall at Stormont.

Private hire drivers, including Belfast man Robert Mateer, have been working hard behind the scenes in recent months to try and secure political support for the proposals and today they get to meet the committee that will decide on the issue.

Robert, a PH driver with Peter Pan Taxis on the Springfield Road, said he can’t understand why anyone would oppose the plans and he hopes to change the mind of those who have concerns about the proposals when he sits down with the MLAs today.

“We are delighted with the opportunity to meet with the committee for 15 minutes and state our case,” he said.

“All we want is a level playing field, equality, these restrictions benefit nobody and the proposals would provide more choice.

“We are ordinary working class people trying to make a living, we are a threat to nobody, not public taxis or anyone else. I hope the DUP and Sinn Féin support the workers on this as it is simply an issue of equality.


Tx1fan said...

The law commission review was very clear that a two tier system was the right one after a very detailed investigation of our industry.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, we ain't stupid
We've k own all along this is what they (TfL/Government) want )
A transient trade, to get the unemployed figures down.
Currently 700 a week in london, soon similar in other large cities.
They don't give a toss about us neither do the public who have deserted us in droves
I can't stop thinking about the drivers who keep posting bullshit like we mustn't upset the public by holding demos
They say demos don't work.
Tell that to the tube workers who will still be able to pay their mortgage when we will be having our houses repossessed
Who will still be driving their cars when out taxis are snatched back by the black horse.
Bob crow would be ashamed of the RMT london taxi branch.

I heard today that we have already had our first attempted suicide after a Cabby's family was made homeless.
This is not going to get better. Ask the drivers in Northern Ireland.

San Fransico's largest Taxi company has just gone bankrupt, the first of many.

Anonymous said...

2016 is going to be the year,it will tell all I'm afraid the end is nigh,I've thrown my badge in the draw as I've started driving a bus again be lucky because your gonna need it!.