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Taxi Drivers In Swindon Outraged At Fare Cuts | Taxi Rank

Hot! Taxi Drivers In Swindon Outraged At Fare Cuts

SN1 cars, a private hire taxi firm, have reduced its minimum fare by 80 pence to £3. This minimum fare is for journeys of up to half a mile. The firm’s own drivers are upset because this reduces their income and rival companies say that it will lead to increased competition. A number of drivers from companies in Wiltshire met to discuss this occurrence and other issues that could affect their overall income.

Nick Chambers, who has been a private taxi driver for more than a decade, said that drivers are irate at the decision which was made without their prior knowledge. Mr. Chambers said that this move would greatly reduce the income of the drivers who are still upset that radio rent was increased. He continued by saying that this move, along with increased petrol and diesel costs. means that drivers will have to work longer hours for the same pay in a bid to support their families. Mr. Chambers also said that such extra stress was bad for the health of drivers who work long hours.

Russell Read, another taxi driver in Swindon, is alarmed at the number of licenses being handed out by the local council and the increased radio rent which now sets drivers back £90. Mr. Read is adamant that drivers are not seeking special treatment because they know the type of vocation they have chosen. Instead, he says that drivers merely want the same working conditions as employees in other professions which is currently being withheld from taxi drivers. He continued by saying that you can’t cut a person’s wages without consulting them first, you can’t force someone to work extra hours for the same money and you shouldn’t be allowed to increase the work force to a level where the work isn’t there for existing staff.

The proprietor of SN1 cars, Martyn Newson, said that the price cuts affect the minimum fare only and was introduced to help elderly people who are no longer able to walk that distance. Contrary to the drivers assertions that it would cost them work, Mr. Newson stated that the new measure was designed to increase the amount of fares available to drivers. He also said that the amount of diesel used in one minimum fare journey is minimal.

Regarding the increased levels of licenses being issued, a Swindon Borough Council spokesman said that the licensing limits were lifted by the government in 2006 and as such, the council no longer have the power to limit the number of licenses being issued. He continued by saying that as long as the council’s licensing criteria is met by drivers, they can’t legally refuse to issue a license. He concluded by saying that the council elected not to attend the driver’s meeting mentioned above because they are meeting two recognized private hire taxi groups later this month.

Source: thisiswiltshire.co.uk

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