Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Union call for cap on private taxi licences in Edinburgh

Black cab and other cars in Edinburgh Image copyright Getty Images

Black cab taxi drivers in Edinburgh are calling for an inquiry into the increasing number of private hire drivers operating in the city.

The Edinburgh cab section of the Unite union also warned of increased congestion in "one of the most polluted cities in the UK".

And it claimed there were concerns about "flagrant breaches" of regulations by private hire cars.

The city council said it was waiting for national guidance on the issue.

The union said its call for action was supported by more than 500 cab drivers.

It presented a petition calling for an "over provisioning" survey to the City of Edinburgh Council on Wednesday.

The move follows reports by black cab drivers of private hire drivers picking up customers from the street despite only being allowed to take bookings.

Image copyright Willie Thomson
Image caption A petition was presented to City of Edinburgh Council asking for an over provisioning survey on Wednesday

Some have also been accused of sitting in taxi ranks at night instead of returning to base.

The union called for dedicated enforcement officers to take action when breaches of regulations were reported.

Scott Blair, chairman of the Unite Edinburgh Cab Branch, said the increasing number of private hire licences should be a "cause for concern".

"By continuing to increase the number of vehicles licensed to be on the road then Edinburgh risks increased congestion in one of the most polluted cities in the UK," he added.

"Serious concerns have been raised regarding the flagrant breaches of regulations that occur throughout the city particularly at the weekends.

"The refusal of Edinburgh city council to include enforcement as part of its regulation of the trade puts the public at risk from unscrupulous and illegal operators."

A spokesman for the council said: "We are awaiting national guidance on calculating over-provision of private hire vehicles.

"Any eligible petition received will be taken to the relevant committee."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites