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Taxi Legal Loophole: Clueless Cabbies

Jonathan Schofield and the men from Rossendale legally lost in the city

Written by . Published on December 3rd 2012.


Taxi Legal Loophole: Clueless Cabbies

“ALBERT Square please?”

Until legislation happens you may find yourself in a taxi with a driver who literally has no idea, outside his Sat Nav, of where he is. 

“Sorry I’m new, which way is that?”

I looked at the driver, he looked back at me blankly. I looked down my particular street in my particular bit of Old Trafford suburbia and sighed.

I felt like saying, ‘You know Albert Square. It’s in London, that place on TV where Cockneys shout at each other all the time, Eastenders. Could you get me there in fifteen minutes?’

Instead I said, “It’s the square with all the markets, in front of Manchester Town Hall, that big building, probably the most famous in the city.”

“Is it near Portley Street?” he said.

Portley Street, the street that doesn't exist.

I looked at the time and wondered whether to get out, complain to the mini-cab firm I’ve been using for years, and wait for a cabbie who knew the bloody basics of Manchester geography. But I needed to get on.

“I’ll direct you, turn round, and then go down Kings Road and Upper Chorlton Road,” I said.

He looked at me blankly.

“Of course,” I said, “you don’t know where they are. First right, third left and then to the lights and right, and then....let's go.”

We set off.

“How come you didn’t have a knowledge test?” I asked trying to catch his eye. “Not to know the location of Manchester Town Hall is ridiculous.”

“I’m not from Manchester,” he said. “I’m from Rossendale.”

That was why the cab had been brightly coloured, a fact that had niggled with me when I’d got into the vehicle. All Manchester mini-cabs have to be white or something called 'true silver'. 

“So you shouldn’t be driving here should you? That's illegal isn't it?

"No," he said in his halting English. "I have a hackney cab licence from Rossendale Council which means I can be a private hire cab driver anywhere in the country."

"That can't be true," I said.

Oh yes it can. 

Manchester Hackney Cabs lined up in SpinningfieldsManchester Hackney Cabs lined up in Spinningfields

A few years back Newcastle people started to realise that drivers given Hackney Cab licences in Berwick-on-Tweed, north of the city, were skipping down to the 'big city' on the weekends, operating as private hire cabs, and scooping up the dosh doled out by the partying Geordie hordes. 

This led to a court case and eventually to loophole land. And me in a cab with a clueless driver.

Rossendale Council (it's not just drivers in Rossendale who are doing this by the way) wrote to Confidential over their wandering cabbies thus. 

'Once a vehicle has been licensed as a hackney carriage it is a hackney carriage for the duration of that licence, wherever it is currently located, and can therefore be used for pre-booked purposes in any district in England and Wales. Additionally it is not an offence for a licensed private hire operator to take bookings for, and then dispatch a hackney carriage licensed by a district which is different from that which licenses the operator, a hackney carriage can lawfully be used to pre-booked work outside its district.'

Apart from London. Of course. 

Of course.

In perfect, passionless, legalese (aka halting English) Rossendale continued.

'The Law Commission are...looking to improve the enforcement of conditions. The existence of national standards for private hire and minimum standards for taxis will itself make enforcement easier, particularly cross-border enforcement (that is, enforcement by an officer of a licensing authority other than that which licenses the taxi or private hire vehicle). Additionally they will make proposals designed to improve cross-border enforcement, and look at the extent to which enforcement officers’ powers could be strengthened.'

So until legislation happens you may find yourself in a taxi with a driver who literally has no idea, outside his Sat Nav, of where he is. 

Unless it's Portley Street.

It's not just the public that are upset. The legitimate Manchester private hire cabbies are fuming as well.

Checking up with the city council and with individual drivers we got some figures. 

To start out as a private hire driver in Manchester you need to spend £197 on a driver licence and £161 on a vehicle application if you have a brand new vehicle.

For a vehicle under five years it's £223. For one between five and seven years it's £300.

So £358 minimum and £446 maximum.

These amounts include a knowledge test that you have to pass, otherwise you have to re-sit for £36.

Another element to take into consideration in Manchester is that private hire vehicles aren't allowed to be older than seven years.

All these measures are in place to help ensure that cabbies are equipped with the knowledge and the safety standards to handle city streets - see the Manchester city council quote below.

Rossendale lads, for a Hackney cab licence, are getting away with a little over £300 setting up fee (in Manchester a new Hackney Cab licence is £533 at a minimum). Bless them. And they don't have to take a knowledge test at all. Nor is there an age qualification for the cars as long as there is an MOT in place for the vehicle. 

This is palpably unfair on both drivers and passengers in Manchester. 

One operator in a prominent south Manchester private hire firm told Confidential, "I've taken on six or seven Rossendale drivers to make a point to Manchester licensing authority. I'm telling them this is unfair and the law needs to be changed. I reckon there are about 200 operating in the area."

There's is no record at Manchester city council of any complaint being lodged by private hire operators.

The operator didn't want to be named.

"Fella," I said, "here's the fare but I can't give you a tip because you had no idea of where you were going. I had to do all the work. You understand don't you?"

One of his drivers, who also didn't want to be named, understandably, said to Confidential. "Our company has at least 20 of the out of town drivers working here, not six or seven, and we have to take all the complaints from regulars about them not knowing where they are going and also we pay more per year for doing this. It's really bad."

He paused for breath, "In the end it's about the operators wanting the £100 radio hire (the amount drivers pay to operators for having work passed on to them). If they get drivers in who want to pay that then they don't care where they get them from."

Confidential knows Manchester city council's taxi licensing department is deeply unhappy about the situation but are 'awaiting the Law Commission's report'. 

As for Rossendale, it seems the council doesn't think it's their problem. Until the law changes it's just one of those things if their residents are taking Hackney Cabs outside the authority boundaries and operating as dizzy and confused private hire drivers. Technically they're right.

Back to Albert Square. 

"Fella," I said to my bewildered cabbie, "here's the fare but I can't give you a tip because you had no idea of where you were going. I had to do all the work. You understand?"

"I do, but you see there's more work down here that's why I come, and it's cheaper to qualify," he said.

I admired his candour, but then he took the biscuit. And then the whole tin of biscuits.

“Excuse me," he said handing over the change. "I've just had a job radio-ed in. Where’s the University on Oxford Road?”

Follow Jonathan Schofield here @JonathSchofield

City Council statement

 

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment told Confidential: "Manchester licensed vehicles must be clearly marked, regularly tested to a high standard and no more than seven years old, while our licensed drivers have to undergo knowledge and English language tests. Unfortunately, at the moment there is nothing to stop hackney cab drivers licensed by other authorities which don't share these high standards working as private hire drivers for Manchester companies. 

"We have spoken to all Manchester operators expressing our concerns about this and asking them not to use drivers licensed in other areas. The vast majority share our view, as they do not to risk their companies' reputations being tarnished by drivers who may have no local knowledge, poor language skills and may be driving sub-standard vehicles. Disappointingly, a tiny handful of Manchester companies do now use out-of-town drivers, but we have no reason to think the practice is set to increase. 

"The legislation concerning taxi licensing dates from a time before this situation was anticipated, and the Law Commission has launched a consultation aimed at bringing the statute books up to date. Along with many other licensing authorities, we raised our concerns about this loop-hole in our response and I look forward to seeing what changes they recommend."


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116 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

RamboDecember 3rd 2012.

The council really need to address the black cabs. There is a ridiculous amount of them don't know major places in the city. Like Deansgate. Like Harvey Nichols. Like the northern quarter. Like the art gallery. I got four cabs in one day and three of them didn't know where they were going. Now I get out in protest until I find someone who can do their job and is worth my hard earned.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerDecember 3rd 2012.

Rambo, you got it all the wrong way round: it is you who is the outta town guy, wandering aimlessly through the rural landscape, being pursued by the council sheriff, and one thing is clear: you do not own any 'hard earned'.

SmittyDecember 4th 2012.

Rambo, the black cab drivers do take a knowledge test, so they should know that kind of thing. If they say something stupid like that it's always worth asking to see their license as some of the less scrupulous black cab drivers will loan or rent their cab out. They have to display their license and if they haven't got it, they're breaking the law. And what you do with those ones who don't have a license is take the number of the taxi from the plate on the back. And then you report them:

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/taxicomplaints

AnonymousDecember 4th 2012.

Completely agree. The hackney cab drivers haven't got a clue where anywhere is. Always talking on a mobile via an earplug. Don't know the city, its attractions, landmarks or main streets. God help the tourisats and visitors.

RamboDecember 5th 2012.

@Smitty Thanks. I will be bookmarking that page.

CatDecember 3rd 2012.

and didn't know where the cathedral was until I said "near Harvey Nicols"

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

Yes but its worth considering that a tighter regime with fewer cabs = higher fairs for customers.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

....or even fares........

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

I am fed up of having to use my phone to get postcodes & googlemap for directions just to avoid spending a fortune because a clueless cabbie has got lost and left the meter running!! Irritation!! This even affects bus drivers - i make the effort to go online check the stop name, what road its near and half the time the drivers just say 'No idea love, first time i've done this route' - WHAT

Dennis MasseyDecember 3rd 2012.

The lack of geographical knowledge isn't just restricted to cabbies working outside their area. Quite a few of the Asian cabbies here in Bury are "geographically challenged" even with a satnav! Not to mention their lack of manners, incompetent driving skills and zero command of the English language. Last Saturday we'd reached our destination and asked the driver to stop and pointed to our house just on the right. Oh yes he stopped all right ... right in the middle of the road!!Idiot!!

Hero
ktfairyDecember 3rd 2012.

Taxi from the Doctors in Ancoats to King Street in town the other day - the driver (Cresta Cabs - aren't they all these days?) didn't know where King Street was. I had to direct him...
Grrr... good arcticle

1 Response: Reply To This...
JohnMarch 20th 2013.

every one as the right to work cresta covers a big are aND SOMETIMES WE DRAW A BLANK most did a nvq 2 and used a a2 z i still use a a2z after 24 years if you dont like getting in cabs/// walk

JimtoDecember 3rd 2012.

I got absolutely screwed over by a scum-bag black cab going from Piccadilly station to Oxford Road. I wouldn't normally taxi such a short distance, but at the ime I had a broken ankle and was on crutches.

I had to direct an incredibly agressive driver for a 1 street journey down Whitworth Street, who upon arrival pushed any number of buttons on his fare box to somehow bump the fare up to £10!!

Needles to say we had a to-do.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

No, no, no. It's a tenner from Cheadle village to Didsbury village on a Saturday night. Your journey should have been about four quid! Guess you know that though.

RamboDecember 5th 2012.

@James Did your crutches get involved in the to-do?

Steve5839December 3rd 2012.

Taxi drivers, Taxi drivers – wherefore art thou? On a Saturday and Friday night going rank to rank and not picking up as they should do around the city – moan 1.

Taxi drivers, Taxi drivers – wherefore art thou? Oh, why are you going up this street? It has been blocked off for years, no response as he cannot speak English – moan 2

Taxi drivers, Taxi drivers – wherefore art thou? Why have you put extras on the bill? no response as he cannot speak English – moan 3

I am not going to even mention the fact I have to direct most of the current crop of taxi drivers in the city and its suburbs.

Common denominator – one element of our worldly brothers, come on Manchester get a grip and introduce the knowledge.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Steve5839December 3rd 2012.

And yes I know the above is about vlack cabs, they are no better.

Connie FallonDecember 3rd 2012.

Steve , Black cab drivers have to pass the knowledge ( which consists of all major landmarks of Manchester and a good geographical knowledge of the roads .All hospitals , train stations etc etc . One can only guess how drivers with no knowledge are able to drive a black cab.

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

There is a proper reporting mechanism for black cab mischief. They will all do you a receipt and will all have their license number. Complain about it and it won't happen to other people.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Steve5839December 3rd 2012.

The normal response when complaining is that we are now monitoring this person. Very helpful.

Steve5839December 3rd 2012.

All that is said when you report them is they are monitoring the situation. Its also unlikely that the person driving is they guy with the licence anyway.

SmittyDecember 4th 2012.

That may be the case Steve, but then the guy who the cab is licensed to is breaking the law...

Prince_HarmingDecember 3rd 2012.

This has been an increasing problem for me, too. I've been heading back from Manchester to West Didsbury and said to the driver "Just go down the parkway, it's fastest at this time of night" only to have to then explain where the bloody parkway is!

I'm more than a little cheesed off having to tell drivers not just where I am going but which direction it's in, road by road.

If you don't pass a knowledge exam, you shouldn't be able to operate a taxi of any kind, end of story.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
suzyblewDecember 3rd 2012.

Frequently have the same problem. 'Parkway - big road to airport'

crisbyDecember 11th 2012.

P.E.Dant writes; Princess Parkway was built as a grand approach to Wythenshawe and begins at the one-time city boundary, at the Mersey. It goes past Northenden until it disappears under the M56. The A5103 road from the city centre to the Mersey is actually Princess ROAD. Most Mancs inaccurately call it 'the parkway' but it might take a non-manc a while to pick it up and I would guess a satnav wouldn't recognise it at all.

PeterDecember 3rd 2012.

I got a cab from Crumpsall to Crescent Road Station on Saturday and had to google the postcode and direct as best I could. The driver didn't have a clue where it was. He turned into the university, then asked a deaf pensioner for directions, then thought the bus lane sign was the sign for the station . . . I'd be surprised if he even had a driving licence!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

There us no "Crescent Road Station". But I'm pretty sure I know where you mean, and you're driver should too!

PeterDecember 4th 2012.

Oh yes I meant Salford Crescent which is what I googled and told the driver !! Still it's better than a previous cab from the same company where a customer had been sick and he'd left it for us to sit in . . . or the driver who had a police siren and drove and swore like a maniac !!

JohnMarch 20th 2013.

a university in crumpsall are you sure

JohnMarch 20th 2013.

also there is no crecent road station its on station road ..so if you tell him the proper place he might find it

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

Sounds about right. I rarely find a driver I don't have to direct when taking a taxi & am often made late by their inability to find my place to begin with!!

I have to use black cabs as I'm an electric wheelchair user, & half of them charge me a good 3-5 quid more than the rest - & don't get me started on pressing the button to charge for moving luggage when all they've done is let the ramp down! Disgusting attitude. I've also never once received a receipt.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 4th 2012.

You should report this to the council - its disrimination to charge you a diferent price to an able bodied person. illegal and really quite disgusting.

soulman1949December 3rd 2012.

Agree wholeheartedly with the article and the replies posted here. It's a scandalous situation that has to be remedied. I found the Law Commission website and enclose the relevant link:
lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/…/1804.htm…
I've e-mailed them pointing them towards this article.

As regards local knowledge, also agree with the comments relating to bus drivers. It seems to me that, since deregulation, knowledge levels among some drivers are severely lacking and that doesn't just apply to routes. I had to explain to one Stagecoach driver recently what a System One ticket was after he served me with a Dayrider despite me telling him my requirements.

Jamie WorsleyDecember 3rd 2012.

This is bad, I agree. I however am more disgusted at the many taxi drivers who turn up to a club such as Sankeys or The Warehouse Project to pick people up, but then refuse to turn their meter on. Is this legal? Once when I wanting to travel back from Sankeys to Whalley Range, I was quoted a flat fee of £15 not too bad, I'm sure its supposed to be more like £9. I was more shocked when I tried to get in a taxi at The Warehouse Project and was quoted £35 to travel from there to Liverpool Rd in Castlefield! From talking to other people I am thinking that this is a common practise, which has been going on now for years. How is this allowed to go on? Its not fair on people who come out of a hot, packed venue into the freezing cold to then get completely ripped off. Yes there are free busses, but why should people who just want to get home safely and quickly be penalised? I'm sure they are willing to pay the hiked up standard post midnight price. Fair enough, its very late at night. But 35 quid to go about 2 miles?! Something needs to be done. People will pay this because they are tired and cold, maybe don't know their way around the city. Not right and not fair.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
SmittyDecember 4th 2012.

They can't do that. And if it happens you should take their details and complain. Although if you've just come out of Sankeys at 6am you might not be in the best of states to do so! If that's the case take a picture of the cab, with the plate on the front or the back so you can see the number and then, when you've recovered, complain at

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/taxicomplaints

Black cab fares are regulated, so they have to charge a flat rate (always check they are charging the right rate - had a stinking row with a driver once who had somehow managed to clock his meter so it was charging the night rate during the day).

Private hire firms set their own rates, but they have to tell the council those rates, and give a month's notice when they change them. They have to display them and have to charge them.

Since familiarising myself with all this, I rarely have an issue with cabs, black or private hire because you can really put the shits up them if they try and rip you off and you're well informed.

The JudgeDecember 4th 2012.

If its a Manchester Black Cap at the Warehouse Project its out of area and can therefore charge what they like its up to the customer to agree the price beforehand. However they should not pick up from the street as their hackney licence is not operable. If you get in a Trafford cab they are in area, and can pick up off the street., but Manchester is out of area so again they can charge what they like The customer needs to agree a price beforehand but either way there is no requirement for the cab to turn on its meter.

Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

Agreed. It does happen of a night a lot. I put it down to them trying to be clear with folk who've been partying all night about how much it'll cost. But then I've been quoted £35 from Sankeys to Cheadle; which is still too much.

SmittyDecember 4th 2012.

eeee, is the Warehouse Project in Trafford now? Clearly I'm getting old as the last time I went it was at Boddies'. I take it Sankeys is still in Ancoats?

Joe LovanoDecember 3rd 2012.

...and it's so embarrassing when friends visit from London and ask me why the taxi drivers don't know jack shit about anything...

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

My little sister was unable to get a taxi who would take her from Canal Street to Castlefield late at night one time last year. They all refused as the fare wasn't big enough, she decided to walk, not knowing where she was and was mugged on Whitworth Street, needless to say she doesn't come to Manchester anymore.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Jamie WorsleyDecember 3rd 2012.

This is exactly why taxi drivers should be made to charge the correct fair and if a private hire company they should not be picking people up from the side of the road. Them's the rules and they should stick to them. They are there for a reason, not to make it more expensive or people to work. I have to in stick to laws and rules in my job and my life. Fleecing someone of around 25 quid because they want to get home safely is not on. I used to work in a bar earning minimum wage. I like many many other people managed not to rob people blind. Sadly I can believe that a taxi driver would leave a loan girl on her own in town. Its unfortunate that these drivers don't drive black cabs rather than private hire. But maybe then they couldn't flaunt the rules as easily. Disgusting!

The JudgeDecember 4th 2012.

Hackney drivers cannot refuse a fare and need to be reported

SmittyDecember 4th 2012.

That's outrageous - and black cabs aren't allowed to do that. Dunno about private hire.

John.PDecember 3rd 2012.

No work sector is perfect including the taxi trade! and with so many people losing their jobs - taxing is seen as a stop gap and sometimes the only job to many new drivers now taking up taxi'ng to feed their families. As many bad instances highlighted here I can name as many good taxi journeys taken by customers! When we all start in our new jobs we need help and guidance and that includes drivers! Drivers don't know every street or every building but will learn as time goes by, rudeness and overcharging is not acceptable though and this should be reported to the council or company from which you booked your cab.
Many drivers are now looking to change there plates and badges to another borough because its cheaper (in today's economical climate can you blame them) and especially private hire drivers are sick of getting fined for dropping/picking people up in bus lanes which black cabs can use but they can't! If they plate their vehicle in rossendale they can pay less, keep the car longer that 7 years, use bus lanes and have any colour they want (in Mcr only silver and white are allowed) Mcr city council need to take note of the stupid colour and age restrictions they impose on Mcr private hire drivers - more and more drivers will start to plate their cabs in rossendale!

If your unhappy with the service you receive make a complaint to that company - if your not happy with their answer there is over 40 companies to chose from in Mcr "phone someone else" and if you use a black cab they can only charge you what's on their meter - if they try to charge you more report them to the council!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Jamie WorsleyDecember 3rd 2012.

How can you complain about a driver when he gives you a license number that doesn't match his car......? Happened to my mate after the Warhouse Project (Surprise!) There is something inherently wrong with the way the private hire companies are working at the moment. There is no excuse for breaking the law. There is a reason there is a maximum age for a taxi......safety! Same reason for MOTs and insurance. So you have to buy a silver or white car....So what?! Its the rules. I have to pay insurance, get an MOT, tax and insurance on my car and I don't even pick people up for a fare. Oh I can have the car any colour I want though...........there are plenty of costs in life. Non of them are a reason for fleecing people, oh or driving them around without valid insurance, which is what happens if you get picked up from the side of a road in a private hire vehicle.

John.PDecember 4th 2012.

License no not matching car? Please explain that one! Mcr does not make the rules on age limits! Even in London they allow 10 years including Oldham and Bury and in Rochdale, Bolton and Stickport there is NO age limit! Mcr private hire vehicles get tested 3 times a year over 5yrs old you can't get any more safe than that. A 6 year old perfectly good car that a driver had used for that time has to be taken off as a taxi WHY! if it passes an MOT it's safe? In today's economical climate a driver cannot afford another car - It can be hard to source a white or silver car at the right price, being able to use any colour car (like you can in the other 9 greater Mcr councils) can save you £££££
And you should never get into a private hire vehicle unless you have booked it - you have to take responsibility for your own actions if you do get in one then you know your not insured "only use black cabs when not pre booked"

Helen TaylorDecember 3rd 2012.

If in town on a weekend evening, wait in line at Street Cars in the Gay Village - they are efficient, clean cars and they know where they're going. I also rate Club Cars based in Chorlton - they're always prompt and polite on the phone. If for some reason I can't get one of those, I'll hail a black cab every time, even if it costs more - I get taxis to feel safer than walking/waiting for a bus - I do not get cabs where I have to direct the diver in broken English; that does not make me feel safe, it makes me furious. If I did my job that badly, I would be fired immediately.

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

CAB my Taxi, a free taxi booking app launched in Nov in Manchester, allows passengers to compare up to 3 quotes of local Private Hire operators or hail a black cab. It also allows them to rate their drivers at the end of the ride! When booking a new ride, passenger can see the average rating as well as Hackney driver's name and profile photo.

We are working hard to make the whole experience safer, more pleasant and transparent. Judging by the feedback we've received so far, things will never be the same again...

You can download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play (or use the links from cabmytaxi.com) Looking forward to hearing your comments.

Vladica Mitrovic
Founder

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2012.

Manchester Private Hire grivers are really frustrated that the Council don't do little or nothing to challenge the behavour of the rogue ripping off drivers. If when reported the Council took steps to investigate the drivers and the drivers who's names keep coming up with complaints take the appropriate action and publish the action they have taken to show they are taking steps to stop this.

Judith BrownDecember 4th 2012.

At 6pm one very wet evening I got into a black cab on Peter Street to go to Piccadilly Station. The driver spoke very poor English and seemed intent on taking me to Piccadilly gardens rather than the station. Eventually, we got within sight of the station when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the road and said "out here please". I said no, please take me into the station. All this time the meter was running and the journey actually cost me £4 more than usual, so I didn't tip him. As I got out of the cab, he actually spat at me. Disgusting! There should be far better control of both black cab and private hire drivers in the city.

Andy MedinaDecember 4th 2012.

Another case of London making a bad law but not actually inflicting it on itself. Same as with de-regulated buses!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomDecember 4th 2012.

Reminds me of the day they brought deregulation was brought in. I was travelling into the city from near Blackburn. The driver hadn't been trained and wandered on and off the route in an effort to find Manchester. Somewhere near Heaton Park he turned to tha passengers

Ghostly TomDecember 4th 2012.

And said I'm lost! Anyone help? I guided him into the then Arndale bus station by the quickest route so late were we. Apologies to all the people waiting for this bus on Bury New Road!

Sorry about e split comment. D**m iPad!

Julie BradburyDecember 4th 2012.

yeah Manchester really need to address their own deficiencies, I got in a black cab with Manchester plates on Whitworth Street opposite Oxford Road station, and asked for Piccadilly station only for the driver to ask for directions, needless to say I got out and into the cab behind. To his credit the driver of the 2nd cab told me I couldn't just pick any cab but must use the 1st on the rank, until I explained my reasons. So what happened to his knowledge test?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
grangeDecember 4th 2012.

Hi

Love your walking show.

In other news , anyone been overcharged for drinks at the German Markets ?

Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

Did you not just explain it's pretty much a straight line?! That's shocking...

AnonymousDecember 4th 2012.

All these individual stories, bloody hell.

'And this one time, at band camp....'

Manchester Taxis are SHITE. Cant everyone just agree rather than continually stretch this article out with boring tales of 'I got in on X street, and asked for Y street'

Hardly breaking news. Yawn.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

Yet you continue to read and post. Yawn.

Jack JonesDecember 4th 2012.

Until I retired recently I drove a black cab in Manchester for nearly 30 years. For many years we were "Policed" by the police. 2 motorcycle policemen in particular kept a very tight rein on us. If we saw them pull up on a rank to check our cabs we knew that everything had to be in order or else... Back then we had taxi licensing officers who patrolled the streets daiy checking that our cabs were clean and roadworthy. A dirty cab and we were pulled off the rank and told to go and clean it. Also periodically the police, licensing officers, and staff from the social security in those days would descend on a rank and check out the cabs, before checking the drivers status to see if he was paying tax or signing on. The Town Hall then decided to take the work away from the police and take it in house. Since that time the quality of "Policing virtually vanished. A new kind of driver appeared on the scene who hadn't a clue about the knowledge. Certain drivers would allow their fellow country men to "borrow their cab for a night or two" in order to earn pocket money. Manchester town hall have known about this for years because of the many complaints they have received. However due I suspect to fears of being accused off racism they have done little or nothing about it. Leading to the situation that we have today.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John.PDecember 4th 2012.

Jack I fear you may be right - does the black cab license match to the drivers license ? At the weekend nights it's a free for all when the clubs are spilling out - private hire picking up, black cabs picking and choosing the best jobs, where is the policing ? I'm afraid both the council and police want the town cleared so they turn a blind eye! The moral of this whole article is that's its not just Rossendale taxis that should be highlighted its the whole industry! As you said not like it use to be - but what is nowadays, things slide until someone gets injured, raped or killed! Luckily the law commission should bring structure to an outdated taxi policy!

Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

It's painful to admit openly but yes, I've definitely noticed the drivers from the demographic to which you allude can be less than ideal.

I get cabs from town to Salford a lot. Several drivers have refused to use the bus lanes, "only Salford cabs can do that" I've been told a few times; other times just sit there in mute silence ignoring me, as the meter creeps up, as we sit in rush hour traffic, with other cabs clearly using the bus lane.

A very obvious scam.

Poster BoyDecember 4th 2012.

Hark; JS opens up a veritable hornet’s nest. The point of course, should be a level playing field, rather than a restriction of trade.

But let’s not get too pious. The taxi trade is the default employment of the economic migrant worldwide. And for good reason. It is the same the world over and it matters not whether he comes from Pakistan, India, Iraq, or …Rossendale.

And in a 21st Century of immigration, confused regulation, and high fuel prices, it is to miss the point to start getting all misty eyed over fluent English, the knowledge, clean vehicles, and even Manganese Bronze.

In any case, unlike many of the world’s other great cities, there has never been a culture of 'the cab' in Manchester.

Jack JonesDecember 4th 2012.

John P. In my latter years I rented my cab off a large-ish cab company. there was rarely a week went by when upon getting into the cab at the start of my shift at least once a week I would find the seating and mirrors in a differerent position to what I would expect with my regular night driving counterpart. Sometimes I would find new maps and other stuff that I knew didn't belong to the regular night man. This is increasingly common nowadays. I complained many times to both the cab owner and the town hall licensing department, and always received the same "We shall look into it" reply. Another point I would like to make is that I am led to believe that there are an increasing number of touts hanging around various night spots touting for business for their p/hire colleagues. I would remind everybody that on a cold wet night it may seem like a good idea to jump into one of these vehicles to get home, but unless it is legally booked through a booking office you are not insured in the event of an accident. There are well documented figures if anybody cares to look, of the vast number of sexual assaults and robberies that take place in most towns including Manchester every year. A case in point was the tragic student who hailed a "Pirate car" close to the Gay village a few years ago. Her burning body was found on wasteland at Ardwick Green. She had been raped, robbed and then set on fire after she had spent the night celebrating her graduation in town. Fortunately the scumbag was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment. Beware! It may seem easier to jump into an unlicensed vehicle, but the consequences could be deadly in more ways than one.

Stewie BDecember 4th 2012.

Jack, I've not heard or read about that horrible event. Are you sure it happened in Manchester?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jack JonesDecember 4th 2012.

Hi. stewie. Yes I'm posititve, i was driving at the time. The poor girls body was found smouldering on wasteland behind what used to be The George pub at Ardwick Green.The scumbag lived in Gorton as I recall, He had I think a red Mondeo that wasn't even a ph vehicle. he used to go out at night on the prowl. I will try to find the original story and post it on here if I can

Jack JonesDecember 4th 2012.


Read the debate

Manchester at night but how safe are you travelling home?
Bogus taxi drivers
Inside Out conducts a special investigation into the dangers posed by bogus taxi drivers.

We reveal how some bogus operators are deliberately preying on young women.

Ten years ago 22-year-old Rachel Thacker was brutally murdered in Manchester after getting into a bogus taxi.

Today the culture of binge drinking means more women than ever before are dicing with danger when they try to get a lift home.

We have learned that sex attacks linked to taxis are happening almost every fortnight in the Greater Manchester area.

Inside Out also has evidence which shows private hire vehicles are regularly breaking the law by stopping to pick up passengers for unbooked journeys.

Riding home
Manchester has a huge number of taxis and private hire vehicles which serve an important role in getting people home safely, especially late at night.

On a busy Saturday night there's 100,000 people in the city enjoying themselves.

The trouble is there's just over 900 black cabs and 2,000 private hire taxis to take them home, and a limited number of free buses running through the night.

The Council maintains there's enough taxis for everyone.

"There's no doubt in my mind there's men out there posing as taxi drivers - just waiting to prey on vulnerable young women…"
Det Supt Mick Lay
But some women are so drunk or desperate to get home after a night out, they are prepared to risk their lives by taking lifts home with strangers rather than waiting for licensed cabs.

Detectives call this "night hiking", but by doing it, women are taking enormous risks.

There are also many more women who are conned into thinking that bogus cabs are registered taxis.

So we sent in an undercover team from Inside Out.

Our researchers stood on a corner at Deansgate Locks opposite an official taxi rank.

Within minutes a man driving a white car stopped - it was not a taxi.

Shortly afterwards another car stopped and offered to take our team home for £15 - once again he was not a taxi.

Rachel's story

Medical graduate Rachel Thacker was murdered by a bogus taxi driver in 1996.

Her battered and burned body was found behind the George and Dragon pub in in Ardwick, Manchester, eight days after she disappeared.

Her body was found a mile away from where she was last seen.

Rachel had travelled to Manchester for a friend's 21st birthday party.


Rachel Thacker - tragic victim of a bogus taxi driver
And then Rachel made a mistake that was to cost her life - she mistakenly took a bogus cab home.

Mark Lynch had been out drinking with Rachel and friends:

"I remember this car pulling up and Rachel opening the door and jumping in… I feel so guilty… I had my hand on the car door…"

The car was driven by Duncan Bermingham, a man with a record of domestic violence.

He was out that night posing as a taxi driver.

Former police Detective Supt Bob Huntbach, who was in charge of the murder inquiry, says that it was one of the worst murders Manchester Police has ever seen.

Rachel could only be identified by her fingerprints.

At the trial it emerged Bermingham had borrowed the car he used from a friend to pose as a taxi driver.

Bermingham was found guilty of Rachel's murder - he was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in jail.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Stewie BDecember 5th 2012.

That's bloody terrible :o(

David BishopDecember 4th 2012.

It's generally very poor, most of the cabbies are as bad if not worse than made out in the article. Another thing that does my head in are the ones that ask for the fee up front!!!

Rebecca PinderDecember 4th 2012.

Ive lost count of the amount of times we have got a taxi to key places in Manchester. And I dont think a single taxi driver has got us to our destination without us having to guide him, correct him or him take us around the houses and charge us thrice the price to still drop us a way from where we wanted to be! What is the point in that?? A tourist seems to know the city better than a taxi - black cab or not!

AnonymousDecember 4th 2012.

Match days are a joke.....Old Trafford to The Deansgate £20 standard, that's black cabs and the mini cabs that are happy to take uninsured fares....

JoanDecember 4th 2012.

Prompted by a knee problem I've used taxis for short city centre journeys on many occasions over the last few months with varied experience. I use both black cabs and private hire. Most of the drivers are efficient and helpful with some quite charming. I've had occasional minor problems, but nothing more serious than forgetting that Deansgate will be slow progress at key times. When I was clearly displeased on Saturday the driver knocked the meter off and discounted the fare. I do recognise though that there's a range of problems and as a city centre councillor I will be raising the issue in a meeting later this week. In my view the most serious unreported concern in these comments is the refusal to take a fare from a woman on her own at night. If you have more details of this incident please let me know. On other points: Stewie - black cabs but not private hire cars can use bus lanes; JS - if your regular ph firm is using uninformed Rossendale drivers the solution is in your own hands. Use another firm, or at the very least complain.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldDecember 5th 2012.

Oh I do complain Joan. And then some. And then I write articles

John.PDecember 4th 2012.

Joan - rossendale taxis exist here because of outdated, unfair council policies that currently exist that see drivers being fined for dropping/picking up elderly and disabled customers when they are waiting in a bus lane. Higher Plate and badge fees, 7 year vehicle age restriction, white or silver colour policy when the other 9 greater Mcr councils allow any colour and any age! Black cab drivers pick and choose the best jobs no wonder that girl had to walk! Maybe Mcr confidential should go undercover on that!

AnonymousDecember 4th 2012.

Today I was heading to an address in Ancoats that I was unfamiliar with and when I went to the taxi rank at Piccadilly train station found it to be 70 people long. Not having time to wait for that queue to disperse I walked up London Road and flagged down a black cab outside Abode. The sky had opened and I looked like a drowned rat after that short walk. The taxi driver jumped out, helped me in with my bags and drove me straight to the address, no questions as to how get there and even knew the location of where I was going. He was polite, courteous and helpful.

If only all taxi rides were as successful but in general 1/3 of journeys I'll give directions, 1/3 I end up being their therapist and more recently I've been advising them to read the articles on MC about taxis.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2012.

If you think you,ve got it bad in Manny, try coming down to Warrington on a Friday or Saturday night and get a cab. Its the only time that the town goes back to its Lancashire status coz that where nearly all the cabs are from and its a total lottery on what your gonna get charged

Chris TaylorDecember 6th 2012.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We can't have sweeping racist statements like this on the site. Your comments have been removed.

Chris TaylorDecember 6th 2012.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We can't have sweeping racist statements like this on the site. Your comments have been removed.

AnonymousDecember 6th 2012.

What's being white got to do with anything? It's more to do with whether they are native to the area.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Chris TaylorDecember 6th 2012.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We can't have sweeping racist statements like this on the site. Your comments have been removed.

AnonymousDecember 6th 2012.

In fact it's not even that, I have no issue where the guy is from or whether he can speak perfect English; as long as he knows where he's going and is polite and does not try and rip me off.

Chris TaylorDecember 6th 2012.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We can't have sweeping racist statements like this on the site. Your comments have been removed.

Chris TaylorDecember 6th 2012.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We can't have sweeping racist statements like this on the site. Your comments have been removed.

AnonymousDecember 7th 2012.

The council taxi policies need an overhaul I think!

Chris TaylorDecember 7th 2012.

Clearly there are problems with taxis in general in Manchester. Unless the authorities accept the fact nd take radical action the situation will only get worse.

It never usedvto be like this year's ago.

Just take a visit to Piccadilly Gardens, taxis and the rest, it's a total disgrace, 30 years ago it used to be s pleasant place to walk through. Not any more. I wonder why?

Chris TaylorDecember 8th 2012.

As far as taxis in Manchester are concerned, the damage is done, just like the rest of Manchester.

The problems associated will only get worse as time goes on.

The hole is so deep, getting out of the mess caused would be practically impossible.

AnonymousDecember 10th 2012.

I well remember the Rachel Thacker murder. Awful! We used to have private hire firms with female drivers. What happened to them?

That good friendly taxi driver that you didn't tipDecember 10th 2012.

Want to know why the standard of black cab drivers is poor in Manchester compared to London? It is simple compare the fares! Manchester;www.manchester.gov.uk/…/hackney_carriage_fare_card… London;www.tfl.gov.uk/…/1140.aspx…
London fares are roughly twice as expensive as Manchester's yet London's operating costs are lower which is why they have candidates (often sons of existing cab drivers) queueing up to do the knowledge, a thorough test of their ability to do the job which takes between 2 and 4 years to complete, the knowledge is hard but the rewards in the form of a good wage that can be earned in a normal 40 hour week is why London cab drivers are consistently awarded the 'best taxi service in the world' accolade. Manchester cab drivers by comparison are 80% first generation immigrants with little education, often speak poor English and who have passed a multiple choice knowledge test after attending a knowledge school that teaches them the answers to the questions but does not build the knowledge base and customer skills to do the job properly, however with having to work 84 hours a week to make a modest living these people are the only ones willing to do the job along with a few old timers like myself left over from the days when the job was ok, before several years of no fare increases due to political agendas (Joan). We few, regularly get to hear "I'm not racist but it's nice to see a white taxi driver" and "is that all the fare is I normally pay double that?" also "it makes a change to have a driver who knows where he is going" and "some drivers are rude and moan about going round the corner it's nice to get one that doesn't" these statements are often followed by "thanks very much driver have a good night" and NO TIP.
The moral of the story is you get what you pay for.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Steven ParkerDecember 11th 2012.

The link to the Manchester hackney carriage fare is very handed - it will help stop people getting ripped off especially at xmas. Is there any similar info on what private hire drivers can charge as standard, per mile and when they can increase charges over Christmas??

Tony BraggJanuary 30th 2013.

Manchester Cars based in Bloom Street Near the village DO NOT use out of town drivers or vehicles they only allow Manchester drivers and Manchester vehicles to work for them...

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2013.

well there are loads in oldham. 140 of them i am a oldham taxi driver they are doin my head in

AnonymousMarch 18th 2013.

speaking not as a council employee from Rossendale or Manchester, or as a trade representative from Manchester, but as a trade representative from Rossendale.

the licensing regime is no less strict or severe or any cheaper here in Rossendale than it is in Manchester and I take great exception to the implication made by Manchester council staff. in actual fact we are faced with the same fees as Manchester, and yet we have no night life...no shopping centres and insufficient rank spaces, we get very little for our fees as opposed to Manchester and yet are faced with license fees of over £330 before you start so not exactly sure where your incorrect fees are from.

There are no black cabs licensed in Rossendale AT ALL so all your complaints relating to black cab drivers have no relevance in this case at all and your implication that it is Rossendale residents operating in Manchester is simply untrue.

had you carried out full and proper research, I, as trade association chair could have given you true facts, like for example, the main 2 reasons for the sudden influx of applications here is due to the continued regulation of number of licenses issued in other areas such as Manchester, Oldham, leeds, Keighley, Birmingham, London, stockport to name but a few and that we allow all types of vehicles as hackney carriages not only black cabs, these applications are being made by your own, local drivers as opposed to Rossendale people driving "out of their own area"

you have contacted trade reps from Manchester and council spokespeople from both areas, If you would like to know all the facts, why not contact trade reps from both areas?

As for the bus lane issue....ALL taxis are allowed to use bus lanes the stipulation that "only black cabs" is unenforceable, check the signs, they state "busses taxis and cycles" they do not stipulate black cabs only.

as for the drivers refusing to take young ladies home late at night, as much as we have heard and had reports of young ladies crying rape and risking our livelihoods simply because they have been expected to pay for the service of taking them home in a licensed vehicle.....still....shame on you....they are more vulnerable than anyone else and this is the nature of the job that you have chosen....to provide a safe and reliable journey home for the general public.....no exclusions..(except those have done runners or been abusive in the past)

Please feel free to get in touch for more actual facts...lawriedriver@aol.com or https://www.facebook.com/RossendaleTaxiAssociation

David Pawlaszek-LawrieMarch 18th 2013.

also worth pointing out that the car pictured is in clear violation of licensing conditions, he is not displaying a roof sign and the door advertising stickers MUST be on the rear doors only....the front doors MUST be left clear to display ONLY the hackney carriage door stickers which display the license number

David Pawlaszek-LawrieMarch 18th 2013.

so to correct the title......"Jonathan Schofield and the men from Rossendale legally lost in the city" if it were true and honest should read..."Jonathan Schofield and the men from Manchester with plates from Rossendale legally lost in the city

AnonymousMay 11th 2013.

TaxiTastic is a FREE Private Hire booking app launched in February 2012. It compares the cost of a Hackney Carriage to Private Hires in the area and give you the telephone number of the 3 closest companies to you. We are working hard to make Minicab booking safer and only list licensed Private Hire companies. Soon you'll be able to book and pay online in selected areas. You can download the app for free from the Apple Store or Google Play or you can try it out online at www.taxitastic.co.uk… Chris Burton Founder

AnonymousJuly 15th 2013.

Im a Salford private hire driver, I get lost lost at times in Manchester simply because I dont know where all the clubs, pubs and resteraunts are, because so many are popping up all over the place. I requested a copy of the relevant places from Manchester council where I thought my customers would want to go, example a list of pubs? Unlike Salford, Manchester said look on the Manchester council web site, which when I went on and I coundnt find the relevant places. In Salford they gave me a list includng post codes, house address and telephone numbers. Any new person to the taxi or PH trade needs time to work as an apprentice and that means all Greater Manchester councils giving this information freeley without sending the request back unaswered. why can one council give information freeley within days and Manchester not? Even the best taxi drivers get it wrong at times, are you saying you have never got it wrong. I had a brain tumour 15 years ago, I begged for a scan as the doctors said there was nothing wrong with me, the scan was left in a filing cupboard for over 3 months and no one reported on it, the doctor give me the all clear, locked the door behind him and said good bye, Luckily for me I said could I see my results from the scan, he then went on to say , he couldnt believe the past doctor had given me a scan, the doctor bent down between two filing cabinets and picked up a file, he read them and asked me to go back into the room to tell me I had a brain tumour, the moral of this story is, people get it wrong at times, did I sue the pants of the NHS or the doctor? No did I call the doctor? NO I didnt I tried to understand what went wrong and how to put it right, doctors are just like taxi and private hire drivers who get it wrong from time to time. What I did was to make sure it didnt happen to anyone else, by putting something in place at this hospital, thats why its important when councils are asked to provide information on the wearabouts of resteraunts and pubs they give it. This is one down load that is open to the public! THE MAIN ISSUE HERE IS PH operators give the details of the passengers pick up point and drop off point which is transferred onto a map, {data head} before the person gets into the car, the private hire driver knows where he or she is going, the problem lies at times with customers not giving exact details of where they are going. many a time they say Im going to Manchester instead Im going to Deansgate in Manchester, even Deansgate in Manchester isnt good for the driver or passenger, to state Deansgate no 1 or Deansgate Hilton end is much better. If you want a ph or a taxi driver to pick you up and drop you off, then provide the street address, house number and most of all the post code. that will give them time to plan a route before they get to you. In Salford we have more than one Cromwell Road, {Eccles and in Kersal} just like we have 2 Worsley Roads { Swinton and in Eccles} but they are all in Salford. So give that vital information when you book a PHV The same applies to why many cabs are late to pick you up, example one lady phones up and ask for a cab to drop them in Bolton from Salford, another lady gets on the phone and asks for the OPERATOR to pick her up in Bolton,the switch girels replies we have one on the way it will be there in about 10 minutes, the problem starts when the first lady changes her mind 5 minutes on and states Im now going to Manchester. The second lady is left standing there, calling the switch staff. Dont always blame others when you might be the part of the problem.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 27th.

Know your patch. Complacency on your part.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2013.

Well done Rossendale drivers, for getting the most out of your license! it showing some of these Greater Manchester councils up? especially TfGM . When the Law commsion sorts this mess out, hopefully we will all be allowed to stay where we are first licensed. The bad news is the high license fees will continue and we will be restricted in dropping off and picking up disabled passengers in bus lanes. If it wasnt for the law commsion report comming soon, I would be licensed as a Rossendale driver, think of the time wasted in traffic congestion when a Rossendale car go into all bus lanes in GM HOW MUCH WOULD THAT SAVE YOU IN FUEL AND HOW MANY MORE JOBS COULD YOU DO?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

i agree well done Rossendale for showing Manchester council up thay have been ripping taxi drivers of for years

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

Manchester cars rip off therr drivers chatge 125 week and no work

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2013.

You are rite, toseef is a juraaaa it is somthing everyone calld him at olympic goodwin he worked therr

AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

how to complain about a base.. base has excluded me from good jobs as they have so many new out of town drivers and feeding them..yet still want full radio money from me..

AnonymousNovember 18th 2013.

union taxi base operators .. bunch of crooks..license needs to be withdrawn..

AnonymousDecember 19th 2013.

I've had a Manchester city council badge for years and now I AM SICK OF THEM... went to get me car mot'd 2 years ago.. They failed it on paint work, bought the car back and took it to mot at gorton without doing anything to it and they passed it lol I went and complaint to the manager (this racist old fella) and his answer was "well the examiner is not Jesus". How freaking rude lol well I didn't argue with the old cock cos I knew he'll definitely fail me next time.. I PASSED MY ROSSANDALE BADGE AND 1- THEY ARE NOT RIP OFF LIKE MANCHESTER. 2- THEY ARE NOT RACIST 3- THEIR VEHICLE AGE IS THE SAME AS MANCHESTER (7YEARS) 1 last thing... I appreciate the British African dude at Manchester city council mot place, he is the only decent chap in the whole bloody place... Am too tired to write any thing so for now GOOD NIGHT MANCHESTER N PEACE ;)

AnonymousDecember 19th 2013.

IVE BEEN AT CLUB CARS FOR 6 YEARS NOW. LATELY THE BOSS HAVE GOT HIS OWN 16 SEATER BUSES. THEY DONT HAVE MANCHESTER PLATES OR TRAFFORD, HE HAS WAGED DRIVERS WORKING FOR HIM ON THE BIG BUSES, THEY DO THE HOTEL WORK AND BIG JOBS FOR HIM. HE HAS 50/50 DRIVERS ON THE BIG BUSES TOO. HE HAS TRAFFORD DRIVERS WORKING IN WYTHENSHAW FOR HIM??? IS THAT ALLOWED WHAT HES DOING?????

Dave HaywardJanuary 9th.

Private hire drivers should have a test like psv and hgv. Some should even have DRIVERS licence which I don't think they have

1 Response: Reply To This...
Kevin TullyFebruary 17th.

p/hire taxis DO have A TEST and EVERYONE needs a driving licence ....muppet

King ArainJanuary 25th.

YOU SOUND TO ME A RACIST WHATS YOUR PROBLEM GET A JOB

AnonymousJanuary 27th.

These Rossendale taxis are springing up all over, usually with drivers with better knowledge of Bangladesh than Bacup. Can we support our local taxi drivers first please - and Greater Manchester Councils - work together to get rid of these parasites.

AnonymousFebruary 4th.

Easy to judge other's when you in high paid job and just think you right one in the world and you know the road's like back of your hand and you never make any mistakes in your jobs. It's all ways two sides of the story.

Anthony HudsonFebruary 23rd.

Same problem here in Macclesfield.Rossendale plated cabs who have not got a clue where to take customers. It would not happen in London.

AnonymousMarch 2nd.

Too many drivers in wythenshawe from outside the area needs to be sorted out

Anthony HudsonMarch 6th.

I have asked Tfl, Transport for London that is, if I could take my Cheshire east licensed hackney carriage vehicle and work on a private hire circuit in London, like the Rossendale vehicles are allowed to do around here in Macclesfield .The answer is a big fat NO. Different laws for London . I thought we were one country. It seems that London has another set of rules to protect there cabbies incomes.Another case of the North South divide. Do we have a case of discrimination here ? Roll on retirement if I can ever afford it. I seem to be working more hours than ever these days. Not a happy cabbie.

1 Response: Reply To This...
GimboidMarch 6th.

An example of the north-south divide? Discrimination? What tosh.

Anthony HudsonMarch 6th.

To do this job professionally you have to be indigenous to your area. When an out of town driver was asked by a customer to go to Jodrel Bank, the driver thought he wanted to make a cash withdrawal . Jodrel bank is a famous radio telescope in Cheshire. So much for local knowledge. I may as well act dumb,,,rely on SatNav and rip people off on the back of being ignorant to were I operate my taxi. Cheshire East do not seem to bother what is going on. You never see an enforcement officer out and about. I could quite easily operate without a license. What a farce this has turned into.

AnonymousWednesday, September 10th.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaao I feel sorry for you you had to the way to the poor guy.. What a big deal. Some people just make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Bob TaylorWednesday, September 10th.

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat a big deal you showed the way to the poor guy..

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