Woman sexually assaulted by bogus driver

THE 23-year-old was helped into the car in the city centre early on Monday morning and was driven to the Knightswood area of Great Western Road where she was sexually assaulted.

A WOMAN has been sexually assaulted after getting into what she thought was a ‘taxi’ in Glasgow city centre.

The 23-year-old victim was helped into the back of a car at around 1.30am on Renfield Street in the early hours of Monday.

The car then drove to the Knightswood area of Great Western Road close to the Lincoln Inn pub where she was sexually assaulted.

Detectives are keen to speak to a man and woman who are believed to have helped the woman in to the car outside Renfield Street’s Bistro Takeaway.

Detective Inspector Greg Wilkie said: “We are in the process of reviewing CCTV images and are keen to speak to anyone who was within the Bistro Takeaway or anyone who was on Great Western who may have information which could assist our investigation.

“We are still trying to establish if the car the woman got into was a licensed ‘cab’ or a private car.

“I would urge anyone with any knowledge or information to contact us as a matter of urgency.”

Earlier this month a bogus taxi driver in Edinburgh lured a woman into his car, drove her to a layby and sexually assaulted her.

The 31-year-old victim got into the saloon-style car, believing it was a private hire cab.

The attacker drove her to a layby around five miles away, where he attacked her.

source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/

Alleged rape victim gives evidence from beyond the grave in taxi driver sexual assault trial

Allegations: Mansouri was in court today

In a rare legal move, a jury listened to the 20-year-old’s video-taped interview in the sex assault trial of taxi driver Masood Mansouri

An alleged rape victim has given evidence from beyond the grave after committing suicide just days after the claimed kidnap attack.

In a rare legal move, a jury listened to the 20-year-old’s video-taped interview in the sex assault trial of taxi driver Masood Mansouri.

But seven days after the alleged rape, the woman fatally overdosed on her mum’s blood pressure pills.

Chester Crown Court watched the alleged victim’s police statement describing how last August’s incident left her feeling ‘hopeless and worthless.’

Judge Raj Shetty told a jury at Chester Crown Court the circumstances were an ‘unusual factor’ as they could listen to her evidence, although she was no longer alive.

The Mirror has decided not to name the woman, who has accused 33-year-old Mansouri of kidnap, sexual assault and rape, which he denies.

The university student had been to a halls of residence party and drank cocktails having earlier downed half a bottle of vodka.

The group tried to ring for a taxi to a nightclub in Broughton, Cheshire, prosecutor Nicholas William said, but after the alleged victim got into a cab and told the driver to wait for her friends, he drove off, it was heard.

Mansouri, at the wheel of a BMW, the jury was told, entered a residential area, panicking the victim who texted a friend: “I’ve been kidnapped.”

A second message read: “I’m not joking,” before another, seven seconds later, said: “Literally scared.”

The trial heard Mansouri ordered her upstairs at his home and tried to kiss her before putting his hand up her skirt. She was then raped, Mr William said, and was described as ‘really rough’ by the woman.

The ‘hysterical’ victim, the jury heard, ran outside and hid behind a bush. Later, at home, she told her mum what had happened.

In her police interview, played in court, the woman said: “I woke up yesterday and realised what had happened and the seriousness of it and it hit me. I felt worthless and helpless and that I needed to tell someone.

“I don’t feel like this is something which someone should be able to get away with.”

Describing the alleged rape, she told cops she ‘felt sick’, and repeatedly told her attacker: “I want to go, I don’t want to do this.”

Mansouri, of Saltney, Cheshire, claims the sex was consensual. The trial continues.

source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/

Kristopher Hicks to receive damages from a taxi driver who “abducted” him in Bath

A man from Bath who suffered severe brain damage when he jumped out of a moving taxi is to receive damages from the cabbie who “abducted” him.

Kristopher Hicks has never been able to speak to anyone about the incident after a night out in the city in November 2010, when he was 23, said Mr Justice Edis at London’s High Court.

The taxi, driven by Michael Young, was travelling at more than 20mph when Mr Hicks, of Holcombe Green, Bath, who was relatively sober and of good character, decided to get out.

Deciding the issue of liability, the judge said Mr Young, of Poplar Close, Bath, drove off because he had formed the mistaken view that Mr Hicks and his girlfriend were not going to pay the fare and were planning to “do a runner”.

He intended to drive Mr Hicks back to the rank to teach him a lesson by causing him as much inconvenience as he could.

The judge said there was no basis for Mr Young’s belief and Mr Hicks, who found himself being driven off by a stranger into the night, decided he should try to escape.

“The end result is that the claimant decided to jump out of the taxi at a dangerous speed. I do not know why he did this.

“It may have been that he misjudged the speed and thought it was safe to do so, but the true motive will never be known.”

The judge said it was a “stark and unattractive choice” to decide between Mr Hicks, whose case was that he was entitled to recover 100% of his claim despite his folly, and Mr Young, who said he should pay nothing despite his deliberate wrongdoing.

He concluded there should be a 50% reduction in the damages payable to Mr Hicks, which will be assessed at a later date, and he was also entitled to a further £250 for unlawful imprisonment.

He said Mr Hicks was driven away from his home for about three-quarters of a mile unlawfully which, taken on its own, would be an irritating and unsettling incident, but not one with serious consequences.

Had Mr Hicks left the vehicle when it was stationary at lights, the impact of the abduction would have been transitory.

“I have broadly accepted the evidence of the defendant and therefore find that his intention was not to to do anything other than to return him to the rank where he would be released.

“This is the kind of conduct which creates a significant risk to life and limb as this case demonstrates.”

Both sides were given permission to appeal.

Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/

Minicab Driver Jailed Over Kidnap And Rape

Salah Mohammed (L), Mohammed Sallah (R)

A minicab driver who drove a young woman who hired his cab to his friend’s house, where she was then raped, has been jailed for 9 years.

Salah Mohammed, 31 of Varley Road, E16, picked up the victim, a young woman in her twenties, and drove her to the house of his friend, Mohammed Sallah, 38 of Hylands Road, E17, where she was then raped by Sallah.

The victim was out with friends in central London on Friday March 7th 2014 when she started to feel unwell and headed home. Mohammed was touting for work at the carwash on Great Eastern Street, EC1 and was approached by the victim’s friend, who asked him to take her home. She gave him £10 for the job and took a picture of his license.

The victim’s friend also called the young woman’s parents, telling them she was heading home. When she didn’t turn up in the early hours of the morning of the 8th her parents called the police.

Mohammed had driven the woman to his friend, Mohammed Sallah’s, house in Walthamstow. Sallah then raped the woman who was later driven to Wood Green and let go. She then contacted her family and the police.

Detective Constable Dele Bolude from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “This was a despicable crime. I would like to praise the victim’s courage in coming forward and reporting it to police. I hope that this sentence sends a clear message regarding the seriousness of this type of offending and gives other victims of sexual offences the courage to come forward.”

source: http://www.lbc.co.uk/

Wrexham black cabs set for radical overhaul

Council look set to relax restrictions on what qualifies as a traditional Hackney cab

Cab drivers want existing rules over taxis relaxed to allow a variety of other vehicles on the roads

Wrexham council is set to relax its restrictions on what type of vehicles can be used as taxis.

A group of taxi drivers, spearheaded by local cabbie Barry Wilson, got together last year over the issue.

They called on the local authority to allow them the option of using customised vans, people carriers and minibuses as opposed to the existing black cabs which they described as “expensive and unreliable”.

Councillors on the environmental licensing committee met in January and gave a mixed response to the idea.

They ruled that more information about the proposed vehicles was required along with a visit across the border where Cheshire West and Cheshire Council have already relaxed restrictions.

Two committee members have since visited a specialist vehicle manufacturing site at Crewe.

And after receiving assurances from the neighbouring authority about the impact of the change, a draft list of approved vehicles to be used as Hackney carriages has now been put together.

Wrexham council’s environmental licensing committee members will now consider the list of vehicles when they meet on Monday afternoon.

A report to the committee states: “Councillor Paul Pemberton and councillor William Baldwin attended the Voyager specialist vehicle manufacturing site at Crewe on March 9.

“During the visit, the councillors were shown around the factory site and given a full overview of how the vehicles are produced.

“Councillor Pemberton concluded that he was happy that the work was being carried out to the highest standard possible and that the work was some of the best he had ever seen.

“Councillor Baldwin commented that the professionalism of the Voyager organisation instilled confidence.”

It adds: “Cheshire West and Chester Council revised their Hackney carriage approved types in February 2014.

“The licensing manager at Cheshire West informed that the change had been a positive one and had not brought about any problems.

“The authority licence vehicles as either Hackney carriage or private hire but the vehicle must meet the relevant specification so as to maintain visible differences between the two licence types so as not to cause confusion to customer and public.”

Among Wrexham council’s proposed vehicles are the Mercedes Vito M8, Renault NX8 and Vauxhall Vivaro NX8.

The Hackney carriages would differ to private hire vehicles by having a maroon coloured license plate, a meter to calculate the fare and full wheelchair access.

source: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/

Oct 01

Tykes on a trike showing off Yorkshire Dales to easy riders

Buying a trike in your 40s might be considered a mid-life crisis moment but for one couple it has turned into an exhilarating business idea.

Jason and Judith Richards got into trikes six years ago and are now the owners of a £30,000 German-made Boom Mustang.

The mean machine can carry two passengers and gets them noticed whenever they ride.

The couple, from Horsforth, Leeds, have been granted a special Novelty Private Hire licence which allows the three-wheeler to be used as a taxi.

Jason is the designated chauffeur who whisks passengers on 30 tours of the Yorkshire Dales.

“We came up with the idea about a year ago because I have such a passion for trikes and I love the Yorkshire Dales,” he said.

“Customers are amazed really because the trikes give you the freedom and exhilaration of a motorbike but with the safety and comfort of a car.

“You get the sights, smells and sounds of being on a motorbike. The wind is in your hair and your face. You just sit back, relax and enjoy the views.”

His wife, who is managing director of the company, Yorkshire Trike Tours, said: “It’s a unique experience. You feel as if you are on a motorbike – it’s very comfortable and very safe. You feel part of it (the Dales) rather than just going through it.”

A recent passenger was Nick Baines – Peanut in the Kaiser Chiefs – who said: “Jason gave us the most brilliant and amazing ride out. Highly recommended indeed.”

source: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/

Oct 01

CCTV to combat taxi crime in Conwy County

TAXIS in Conwy county are being fitted with CCTV cameras as part of a pilot scheme designed to create a safer environment for drivers and passengers.

The Right Bright Taxi Scheme, a partnership operated by North Wales Police, Conwy County Borough Council and the Taxi Trade, which will run until December 2014, aims to deter crime, aid police investigations and help the Licensing Authority explore complaints.

Several taxis operating in the Conwy Coastal Policing District have been fitted with CCTV cameras, with more taxis expected to join the scheme and have cameras fitted over the coming months.

Members of the Right Bright Taxi scheme have also become members of Online Watch Link (OWL) and they can receive urgent community alerts, for example about missing children or vulnerable adults.

Council officials have said: “Having a camera in the vehicle helps ensure driver and passenger safety and it’s a vital source of information when dealing with incidents or complaints.”

For more information about the Right Bright Taxi Scheme contact the Licensing Section at Conwy County Borough Council on regulatory.services@conwy.gov.uk.

source: http://www.northwalespioneer.co.uk/

Sep 30

Minicab drivers petition to use Leicester bus lanes

Minicab drivers are signing a petition asking council bosses to let them drive in bus lanes.

Private hire vehicle drivers want to be able to use the bus-only zones in Charles Street and Causeway Lane, Leicester, without incurring fines.

Under current city council rules, hackney cabs can use the lanes but other minicabs cannot.

Private hire driver Sajit Faruk, of Thorpe Astley, said the rules are unfair.

He was caught in Causeway Lane in July and unsuccessfully challenged his £60 fine.

He said: “Essentially, private hire vehicles do exactly the same job as hackney cabs but are banned from these lanes.

“We are public transport and the council wants to encourage people to use public transport.

“Perhaps the rules could be changed to allow private hire drivers in the bus lanes at peak hours rather than all the time.”

The city council banned cars from the lanes in July 2012.

Nearly 40,000 drivers have been caught and almost £1.2 million has been generated in fines.

Forty people have signed Mr Faruk’s online petition. He is also collecting signatures on a paper version.

A city council spokesman said: “The scrutiny commission looked at this issue and agreed hackney cabs and private hire vehicles should be treated differently.

“There are different rules for the operation of private hire vehicles and hackney cabs and it has been made quite clear that, in terms of bus lanes, private hire vehicles don’t have any special privileges.”

Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Of course, we will consider the petition but I think I would be firm on this.

“Hackney cabs are easily identifiable but private hire cars are largely saloon vehicles and it would be impractical to check each one against the licensing record.

“I also think it would confuse drivers who might see private hire cars in the bus lane and assume it was fine to follow them.

“That would unnecessarily generate more fines.

“There are also a large number of private hire vehicles and to allow them in the bus lanes might impact on the buses, affecting their journey times.”

Read more: http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/

Sep 27

Minicab operator fraudster to pay £125,000 to victim

The owner of a Romford mini-cab company may be forced to sell his home to pay more than £125,000 in compensation to an 81-year-old man, after conning him out of his life savings.

Paul Trower, 63, of Harold Hill, was the subject of an investigation by the Safer Transport Command’s (STC) Payback Unit after his activities were brought to their attention in 2011.

Officers found Trower had conned an elderly man, from Orpington, into investing his life savings into his ‘renowned’ cab company – which in reality had only just been founded.

He was also in the process of taking possession of the victim’s home.

The STC halted the sale of the house to Trower, and froze his bank accounts before he could get rid of all the victim’s money.

Trower was arrested and convicted of fraud and money laundering on December 12 last year, and was sentenced to three years in prison – resulting in the closure of his cab firm.

Further confiscation proceedings were brought against Trower, who travelled from Hollesley Bay Prison, in Suffolk, to appear at Basildon Crown Court on September 20.

A confiscation order of £120,000, plus a further £5,850 in interest, was ordered by the judge. Trower was given six months to pay, or face a further two years imprisonment.

Ch Sup Sultan Taylor, of STC, said: “This was an excellent result which has not only seen a fraudster receive a robust jail sentence but also the end of his disreputable cab company, the loss of his personal wealth and a substantial compensational sum for the victim.

“Our message is clear: If you commit an offence, you will be caught and if convicted every avenue of punishment will be considered including the seizure of your assets. We will get those responsible.”

source: http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/

Sep 27

Fare cop as banned cabbie is caught picking up trade

A TAXI driver was caught picking up passengers while banned from the road in a police sting in the city centre.

Officers from South Wales Police held an operation in Swansea to make sure taxi and bus drivers were working within the law.

The force’s commercial vehicle unit, was joined by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa), taxi licensing and city centre neighbourhood officers to conduct safety checks to ensure vehicles are fit to carry passengers.

City centre inspector Dean Thomas said “Many people from far and wide come to Swansea to enjoy the vibrant night life and expect to be transported to and from the city in buses or taxis that are safe and legal.

“I am sure that many would be concerned if they were aware that the some of the transportation does not meet the required standards.

“This current operation has once again clearly demonstrated our commitment to tackling those individuals and companies who are continuing to ignore the law and potentially put people’s lives at risk.”

In total 18 passenger-carrying vehicles were checked. One taxi driver was arrested for being disqualified from driving, and his taxi seized and two other taxis received suspension notices, after a fuel leak and a steering problem were found.

Mechanical defects that were found included defects to passenger seats, defective exhaust system, defective tyres, loose wheel nuts and a vehicle that had below the minimum brake fluid within its brake system.

Also thanks to new regulations meaning all vehicles carrying more than eight passengers had to be checked, two drivers were found to be in breach and reported for summons.

Four other drivers received prohibition notices in respect of breaches of tachograph — the meter which records speed and distance — regulations, and were banned from driving for a period of time.

PC Phil David said: “It is disappointing that certain bus and taxi operators are not adhering to the regulations, and in particular failing to ensure that their vehicles are to a mechanical standard that is required by law.

“Customers who book transport genuinely believe that the transport that they have booked and paid for is roadworthy, and is capable of taking them to their venue, but unfortunately we have highlighted again, that these vehicles have substantial defects.”

Read more: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/

Sep 26

Maidstone taxi driver Ahbabur Rahman ‘deliberately reversed at three passengers’, court told

Taxi driver Ahbabur Rahman

A taxi driver injured three passengers when he deliberately reversed at them during a row in the early hours, a court heard.

After Ahbabur Rahman struck friends Remmi Sexton, Grace Dilley and Joe Glenister, he ignored screams and drove off in the black cab, it was alleged.

The trio had been out drinking in Maidstone town centre and asked the 47-year-old cabbie to take them to Vinters Park at about 4.30am on September 29 last year.

On the way, Miss Sexton and Mr Glenister had a heated argument and there was then disagreement over the fare, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Ian Foinette said because of the argument Miss Sexton asked Rahman to stop in Bedgebury Close and let her out. He did so and Mr Glenister followed her.

The others also got out and £10 was handed to the driver for the £7 fare.

“It seems there was some sort of argument going on with the driver,” said Mr Foinette.

“There was shouting. At one stage, the taxi driver and Grace Dilley were more or less face to face.

“He got back in. Those behind saw the reversing lights come on the taxi. He then reversed back at speed some 12-15ft and hit the three.

“They were all knocked over. Remmi Sexton hit her head on the ground. After hitting them the defendant moved forward and just drove off fast away from the scene.

“One person described the engine not only revving but also the tyres squealing.”

Mr Foinette told the jury of eight women and four men: “It must have been blindingly obvious to the defendant he had reversed into them and hit them.

“Screaming around the back of the taxi must have told him something had happened.

“One person described the engine not only revving but also the tyres squealing…” – prosecutor Ian Foinette

“The Crown say this was a deliberate act by him, annoyed perhaps by what was going on in the back of the taxi and afterwards.

“In a fit of pique he decided he was going to show them he was the boss.”

An ambulance was called and injuries were treated in hospital.

Rahman, of Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, denies two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, one of assault by beating and dangerous driving.

He claims he did not get out of the cab and did not reverse it.

The trial continues.

source: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/

Maidstone taxi driver Ahbabur Rahman cleared of deliberately reversing at passengers in row over fare

A taxi driver accused of injuring three passengers by deliberately reversing at them during a row has today been cleared of assault and dangerous driving charges.

Ahbabur Rahman had denied driving at friends Remmi Sexton, Grace Dilley and Joe Glenister.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the trio had been out drinking in Maidstone town centre with James Hartnell and Lucy Holland and asked the 47-year-old cabbie to take them to Vinters Park at about 4.30am on September 29 last year.

On the way, Miss Sexton and Mr Glenister had a heated argument and there was then disagreement over the fare.

Prosecutor Ian Foinette said because of the argument Miss Sexton asked Mr Rahman to stop in Bedgebury Close and let her out. He did so and Mr Glenister followed her.

The three others also got out and £10 was handed to the driver for the £7 fare.

“It seems there was some sort of argument going on with the driver,” said Mr Foinette. “There was shouting. He got back in.

“Those behind saw the reversing lights come on the taxi. He then reversed back at speed some 12-15ft and hit the three.

“They were all knocked over. Remmi Sexton hit her head on the ground. After hitting them the defendant moved forward and just drove off fast away from the scene.

“One person described the engine not only revving but also the tyres squealing.”

An ambulance was called and injuries were treated in hospital.

Stephanie Bryant, who lives in Bedgebury Close, claimed she looked out of her window and saw the taxi reverse at speed into the people behind it. Her father is a paramedic and he went out and tended to the injured.

Mr Rahman, of Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, denied two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, one of assault by beating and dangerous driving.

He denied reversing at all and said he did not hit anybody. The passengers, he said, had been behaving badly, swearing and throwing food at each other.

There was a dispute over the fare, he continued, and he threatened to call the police. The car was capable of doing a 95-degree turn and there was no need to reverse.

He added the passengers had damaged the rear of his cab.

The jury of eight women and four men acquitted him of all charges after deliberating for over four hours.

source: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/

Sep 26

Minicab driver spared prison for sex assault on teenage passenger

A minicab driver who sexually assaulted a teenage girl as she travelled home at night has escaped an immediate jail term.

Iqbal Ahmed touched the 17-year-old’s leg several times during the journey to Sutton-at-Hone.

He also made suggestive remarks, implying her fare might be waived in return for a sexual favour.

Father-of-five Ahmed, of Royal Road, Sidcup, denied sexual assault but was convicted by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court on a 10-2 majority.

Ahmed, the court was told at his sentencing hearing, still vehemently maintains his innocence.

Imposing a sentence of two months’ custody – suspended for 12 months – Judge Philip St.John-Stevens said the offence was aggravated by the fact Ahmed was in a position of trust.

He added: “What is significant and makes this all the more serious is the remarks you were making to her, effectively implying you were asking for a sexual favour so the fare may be waived.

“She was there, effectively imprisoned in your minicab by a man making sexual innuendos and suggestions and touching her on her leg not once, but more than once.”

As part of his sentence, Ahmed must carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work. He also has to sign the sex offenders’ register and is barred from working with children.

The court heard the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had been to a party and was travelling home with friends on September 30 last year.

She sat in the front seat next to Ahmed, who was working at the time for Swantax Minicabs in Swanley.

“She was there, effectively imprisoned in your minicab by a man making sexual innuendos and suggestions and touching her…” – Judge Philip St.John-Stevens

Prosecutor Gary Pons said one of the friends jokingly asked how people got out of paying their fare and Ahmed, 39, replied that on occasions they had sex with him.

He then put his hand on the girl’s leg. She was wearing shorts with tights underneath and told him: “Don’t touch my leg.”

The others were dropped off in Swanley and the teenager continued alone to her destination.

Ahmed asked questions that were increasingly personal and inappropriate, said Mr Pons.

He twice more put his hand on the victim’s leg and described how people would pay him for fares with sexual favours.

On arriving home she told her sister what had happened and the police were contacted.

Ahmed claimed the group was rowdy and wanted a discount. He denied there was any sexual talk or any physical contact with the girl.

The court heard he was suspended from the minicab firm after his arrest and has since lost both his job and his minicab licence.

Christopher Sutton-Mattocks, defending, said this – together with the loss of his good name – was punishment itself.

He also told the court the shame of such a conviction would pose difficulties for his daughters’ prospective arranged marriages.

source: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/

Sep 26

Grimsby taxi drivers claim victory after go-slow protest

FURIOUS taxi drivers in Grimsby have claimed a victory after staging a noisy 5mph “go-slow” protest against changes which they say are preventing them from earning a living.

Drivers are angry about North East Lincolnshire Council’s decision to close their rank on Victoria Street West and Town Hall Street as part of a long-term revamp of the town centre.

They claim the planned new ranks on Victoria Street South are too far from the town centre and yesterday morning, about 10 drivers launched the slow moving protest near the town hall beeping their horns before more drivers joined in, eventually bringing traffic to a standstill.

The protest came to a head when a handful of the drivers were invited into the council offices for a hastily arranged meeting, which saw the council agree to temporarily restore Town Hall Street as a taxi rank and to erect signs to point the public towards pick-up points.

Susan Barss, a taxi driver of over 30 years, said it was “bad enough trying to making a living as it is”.

Fellow driver Colin Wilson claimed the driver at the front of the rank on Town Hall Street yesterday had been sat there for two hours without a fare.

“Nobody is going to be able to earn money and I can see the town centre grinding to a halt,” he said.

“The taxi ranks are constantly full and nobody can move.

“It’s going to have a drastic effect on us drivers, even if we do get fares the roadworks make it so difficult to get in and out of town.

“It’s a total waste of money what is happening here.”

One driver claimed the council had taken away some 20 taxi spaces in recent weeks. Councillor Andrew De Freitas (Lib – Park Ward), who watched some of the protest from the Town Hall steps, said he had sympathy for the drivers.

“The issue really needs to be dealt with immediately,” he said.

“You can’t have these people struggling to make a living.

“I have a lot of sympathy for these guys.”

Marcus Asquith, head of highways at NELC, said: “The relocation of taxi ranks is part of the major Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) developments taking place across Grimsby town centre.

“From the start of this project we have worked closely with all stakeholders to communicate the changes and wherever possible address the concerns they raise.

“The problems which led to today’s protest by the taxi drivers occurred as a new phase of the LSTF project started. Following a meeting on site, the problems have now been addressed and we have made a commitment to work closely with them to continue to keep them informed of our intentions.

“As with any project of this size, there are bound to be times of change and inconvenience and we will try to minimise disruption wherever we can.

“We will continue to work with the taxi drivers and businesses in the town centre to keep them informed of progress. And I would like to thank them, and the public, for their patience during these essential improvement works.”

Mrs Barss said the drivers had agreed to set up a new organisation which will have regular meetings for drivers to discuss concerns.

Read more: http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/

Sep 26

Anger over minicab firm’s office plan

PLANS to turn a former dry cleaners into a minicab office have been criticised by taxi drivers and businesses.

Excellent Connections has submitted a proposal to Chelmsford Council looking to change the use of 37 Duke Street from a dry cleaners to a taxi and private hire vehicle booking office.

The company, which runs Chelmsford Taxibus, wants the premises to become a place for passengers to book its services.

However, the plan has sparked anger among other taxi drivers, shop owners and residents near the site, with many posting objections to the authority.

Ian Vernon, chairman of the Chelmsford Taxi Drivers’ Association, said the spacial and safety issues the proposal would bring if accepted are too big to ignore.

He said: “That part of Duke Street is double yellow line and we understand that, to park, they might want to use Wells Street, which would take up a lot of room down there.

“It is also a very busy bit of road, with cars, taxis and buses, and I’m worried about members of the public who feel they may have to cross Duke Street. It would become very cluttered.

“Our view is we have an abundance of taxis at the west end of Chelmsford through the ranks and in general there is no call for an office.”

Shop staff based nearby have also expressed concerns over the plans.

Stuart Hammond, head of food at Co-op, said: “Our loading bay is in Wells Street and it’s difficult enough at the moment with the odd person parking their car and with the flats there.

“If we have minicabs come in, we’re probably going to have minicabs and people waiting outside on the street where we have big articulated lorries coming to deliver stock.

“My concern is it could become dangerous and make it more difficult for our lorries to come in.”

Excellent Connections was unavailable to comment.

source: http://www.essexcountystandard.co.uk/

Sep 25

Minicab firms call for rethink to bus lane

Minicab firms in Stoke-on-Trent are campaigning for their drivers to be allowed to use the city’s bus lanes.

Operators claim Hanley has become a ‘no-go area’ for private hire vehicles in the wake of recent changes to the road layout.

They are now asking Stoke-on-Trent City Council to review rules which allow Hackney carriages to use bus lanes but ban minicabs.

Dave Currie, regional secretary of the National Private Hire Association, is leading the campaign.

He said: “The people of Stoke-on-Trent are paying out £1 million a year in private hire fares that they would not need to pay if drivers were given access to the bus lanes.

“Since the road changes in Hanley the situation is even worse.

“At the moment they can only drop off and pick up on the outskirts of Hanley.

“If private hire could use the bus lanes it would mean revellers were cleared from the city centre more quickly late at night, and also reduce pollution.

“We’ve been banging this drum for a long time and I haven’t heard one councillor say they don’t think it’s a good idea, yet the council will do nothing about it.”

Mr Currie will meet members of the local authority’s City Renewal Overview and Scrutiny Panel tomorrow – along with representatives from private hire firms – to ask for the situation to be reviewed.

Sue Riley, manager of Burslem-based Magnum taxis, will attend the meeting.

She said: “If people want to go into the centre of Hanley they either have to get the bus or a Hackney.

“All the time we have to say to customers, ‘walk here’ or ‘walk there’, and some of them really aren’t mobile enough.

“The idea of private hire is you are taken door to door and you don’t have to walk to a taxi rank in the first place. Since the road changes came in our base operators have a lot more hassle off people because we can’t get to where they want to go.

“The situation is only going to get worse in the winter with the bad weather.”

A report to the overview and scrutiny committee states that the issue was last considered by the council in October 2010, when the cabinet decided not to allow private hire vehicles to use bus lanes.

It adds: “There have been major changes to the road layout in the city centre, including proposals to better cater for private hire vehicles at night, and this needs time to settle down before considering any further changes.”

The meeting starts at the Civic Centre at 10am.

Read more: http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/

Older posts «

» Newer posts

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.