A letter has been sent to every councillor at Nottingham City Council by taxi drivers angry over changes to ranks in the city.
According to the Nottingham Post, a three-page letter from Unite the Union branch chairman, Kaleem Ashraf, has been sent to the city council and every one of its councillors urging them to work with the taxi drivers to bring the drawn-out saga to an end.
Drivers have been protesting for a number of months over the pedestrianisation of Station Street, which has led to the rank being moved further away from the entrance and exits of the train station.
As reported in PHTM, hundreds of taxi drivers staged a march earlier this year calling for a meeting with Cllr Nick McDonald, but the letter alleges the council have done little to allay their fears.
In the letter, Mr Ashraf writes that the taxi drivers have a “dreadful dilemma” and public using the service are “baffled and disturbed” by the changes.
Their campaign for the reinstatement of the Station Street rank has been backed by Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, who says the lack of taxi provision in the city concerns him.
Mr Tipping said: “I’ve had a lot to do with the taxi drivers recently and my concerns are more to do with community safety.
“It’s clear that late at night people pick up a cab and they’ve had a few drinks and are abusive from time to time towards the taxi drivers, and they are left exposed; that is my concern.
“We also don’t want people walking a-round the streets late at night looking for a taxi because that is when they can be vulnerable.”
However, Cllr McDonald, portfolio holder for business, growth and transport, said more people are using the side exit of the train station, which means the new taxi rank is well-placed.
He said: “We know that many people use the side exit of the station which the new taxi rank is very well placed for. Those who leave by the front of the station are directed to the new rank off Queens Road, which can be easily accessed by people with mobility problems and luggage.
“We will continue to press East Midlands Trains to ensure that signs in the station directing passengers to the taxi ranks are as clear as they can be and we will explore options for signage outside the station.”
Mmmm... As Beattie used to say in the old BT adverts, it’s good to talk... and the best way is to circulate that conversation as widely as possible, as has the trade in Nottingham. This is something (as a lot of folk will know) that the NPHA does regularly: if one of our members has a grievance and we’ve not had a reply from the powers that be (usually the Chief Executive or Head of Legal) at the particular council, we then circulate a letter to every member of the council’s Licensing Committee. It is amazing how many Members have not previously heard of these grievances. Anyway, was there ever a site visit organised at Nottingham Station? Just wondering... Ed.