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Post by Aftab on Thu 1 Jan 2009 - 17:24

Cabbies hit back at ‘irresponsible’ jibe

Jan 1 2009 by Andrew Pugh, Neath Guardian
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/south-wales-news/neath/2009/01/01/cabbies-hit-back-at-irresponsible-jibe-91466-22568612/
ANGRY taxi drivers have hit back after being branded “irresponsible” by councillors.

Earlier this month, Neath Town Council accused them of obstructing pavements, creating unofficial ranks and blocking access for emergency vehicles.

But Bob Hoyles, chairman of the Neath Port Talbot Proprietors Association, accused the councillors of hypocrisy.

Mr Hoyles, whose organisation works to protect the interests of taxi drivers and companies in Neath Port Talbot, said: “These are the very same councillors who sit on licensing authorities and allow the area to become swamped with taxis.

“I have been banging on to the council for ten years that there are too many taxis on the road and they’re giving out too many licenses, but it’s a massive income for them.”

Mr Hoyles believes the council earns more than 100,000 a year from the taxi trade.

Coun Gloria Rees has claimed someone could be killed as a result of indiscriminate parking in Maesyffynnon Close, and Coun Sheila Penry said there were problems at Windsor Road and Queen Street.

But Mr Hoyles countered: “When you have 200 taxis working in Neath and spaces for 12, it’s inevitable this will happen.

“We’re all just trying to earn a living.”

“The area near Maesyffynon is home to Davey’s Cabs, a garage where cars go for repair work and not to wait for customers.”

He added: “It’s total nonsense. The issue at Wind Street is simply over-zealous licensing of taxi drivers – the very same people who are complaining now.

“You couldn’t physically have 200 drivers in Neath looking for work, so what are we to do?

“It’s all very well these councillors spouting off in the press but they are the very same ones creating the problem.

“It’s easy to have a go but we provide a very valuable public service, with good professional drivers.”

Mr Hoyles said he had been told by the council that it cannot turn licenses down until a survey is held to establish the level of unmet demand.

He was told the survey would cost between 30-40,000.
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