Yellow cab drivers in Derby have hit back at accusations that the fumes from their cars are ruining trade at a city centre business.
Nicky Piponidou, who runs Nicky’s Restaurant and Fish Bar on The Spot, says hackney cabs with idling engines stand outside his business all day long creating fumes, which are carrying into the building and upsetting staff and customers.
If the situation does not improve, he says he will give up the business, which he has run in Derby for 48 years - by Christmas.
Mr Piponidou voiced his frustrations a week ago.
Now, taxi drivers have hit back, saying “we’re a business too”.
Zaid Iqbal, 51, from Derby, is a yellow cab taxi driver who often parks on the rank outside Nicky’s Fish Bar.
He said: “When you have 400 yellow cabs in the city centre, you have to have a feeder rank somewhere. There is nowhere else for us to move.
“We have never left our engines running outside Nicky’s restaurant. We can be waiting here for up to 40 minutes so it would cost us a lot of money to have idling taxis on the road.
“We’ve been here for 20 years and business is hard for everybody at the moment. We all have to make money. Every other business around here does well so I don’t know why his business is failing.
“Instead we’re getting hammered by everyone and it’s a joke.”
Read how we reported Nicky’s claims that the taxis were ruining his business
Earlier this week a Derby City Council spokesperson said: "There are currently no plans to change the restrictions here. However, we are happy to listen and talk to business owners about this issue.
“The issue of air quality in the city is currently being consulted on and the draft low emission strategy that is designed to complement this work does suggest a number of measures that may be used to ensure Derby’s fleet of taxis are clean and efficient."
Mr Piponidou said he was upset at the council's stance.
He said: “I am very disappointed in the council for not moving the taxi rank. They should understand that as a business, we do not want that many taxis outside our restaurant.
“I’m tired of it. All we want is for the taxi rank to be smaller so our customers have space to park. But there’s nothing we can do now.”