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'Not enough taxi users to go round'
TAXI drivers in Worcester say their reputation is being unfairly “trashed” because they are all competing for too few customers.
The trade say too many licenses have been dished out in recent years and that they back suggestions from politicians to potentially cap numbers for the first time.
The drivers have also hit out after a row of them were pictured in your Worcester News waiting on double yellow lines in Foregate Street.
One of the culprits, who refused to be named, said: “I feel like our reputation is being trashed purely because there are too many of us and not enough room to park.
“I was waiting there because the rank was full. I dropped a customer off and must have been there for two or three minutes before I moved on.
“We are being blamed for something when in fact, the council knows there are too many licenses being handed out and not enough rank space or customers.”
Taraq Mahmood, another Worcester-based driver, said: “More and more drivers have come on the roads but the ranks don’t get bigger.
“We have all been struggling and the solution is simple – stop the plates.”
The Worcester Taxi Drivers Association is asking members of the trade for donations to raise money for a survey to be carried out.
The unmet demand survey, which will cost about £9,000, will see cameras placed above the ranks to see if taxis are left waiting for people to turn up.
In 2001, Worcester had 102 taxis, including private hire cabs, but that number has since risen to a record high of 288.
If the survey shows there are too many taxis, it could see the city council introduce new measures to reduce numbers.
The council is hoping the survey will be complete over the next three months before the next licensing committee meeting in November.
Councillor Paul Denham, licensing committee chairman, said: “Once they’ve got the results it can be brought to the committee so we can look at it. We want to see some control over the number of taxis.”