PERSISTANT shoddy parking has lost a cabbie his livelihood after Torbay Council ran out of patience.
Taxi-driver Ryan Ford was left in shock after councillors took the unprecedented action of revoking his licence after he ignored a series of warnings.
Mr Ford was called to a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee after complaints about his dangerous parking.
Committee members were told that there had been complaints from police and members of the public about taxis parking inappropriately.
It was said that taxi-drivers, including Mr Ford, were sent letters warning them about obstructing traffic, and he later had his licence suspended for seven days.
Members also heard that Mr Ford, who lives in Torquay, had sworn at a parking enforcement officer who was photographing his car when it was badly parked at a rank.
It was said that Mr Ford had been photographed on a number of occasions parking poorly at taxi ranks.
On one occasion, while parked at the roundabout rank at the bottom of Torquay’s Union Street, he was said to have left the back end of his black Vauxhall hanging out on the road for six minutes.
Mr Ford, 29, told the committee: “After receiving the letter I took it upon myself to adhere to the regulations. I certainly didn’t swear at the parking enforcement officer.
“The pictures don’t prove that I’m stationary. They don’t tell the whole story, and there’s no video footage to support the claims.
“I feel that there’s a personal vendetta against me. I’m being harshly dealt with. In terms of the six-minute incident, I agree that I could have driven around the block and come back. I can’t afford to be suspended.”
Councillors debated the matter for half an hour before returning to tell Mr Ford he had lost his hackney licence.
Mr Ford, who has been driving a taxi for five years, was visibly stunned after the meeting.
He told the Herald Express: “I was in total shock when they announced that my licence was being revoked.
“I don’t understand what’s gone on. I don’t see how it can happen. Their recommendation was a 28-day suspension.
“I was going to appeal against the suspension, and I will certainly appeal against this ban. The Taxi Association said they’ve never heard of this happening before.
“It seems I should be able to work until my appeal has been dealt with, but the council are saying I can’t.
“I enjoy my job and I’ve got nothing else lined up. I’ll have to start looking for another job, but in the current climate there’s nothing around.”