A GROUP of frustrated Ashfield taxi drivers are calling on council bosses to do more to protect the industry against rogue drivers.
The Ashfield Branch of the National Taxi Association says Ashfield District Council is not doing enough to protect passengers from overcharging, dangerous driving, a lack of knowledge of the Ashfield area and sexually suggestive comments to lone female travellers.
The branch also claims that the problem has grown worse over the last 12 months, with complaints from angry passengers continuing to grow,
Nigel Marchant, branch secretary said: “People are complaining to the council but are getting nowhere so they are coming to us.
“Ashfield Council point blankly refuse to do anything about these complaints unless the person who makes the complaint goes into the Council offices in their own time and makes a statement. Someone making a complaint should not have to do this.
“The council has a duty to protect passengers, but the situation is getting worse and worse. I have been driving taxis for more than 20 years and it is important that the travelling public have trust in their drivers.
“People have the right to be transported safely and fairly. The time has now come to take action and bring this appalling lack of service to light.”
A spokeswoman for Ashfield District Council told Chad it was a responsibility that they took very seriously.
She said: “Every complaint received by the Council is considered and investigated with appropriate action being taken.
So far this year, the Licensing Team have responded to 24 complaints in relation to hire vehicles and drivers. Complaints are investigated thoroughly and in line with Government guidance and best practice.
“Where there is sufficient evidence, the council takes action in accordance with our enforcement policy/Licensing Terms and Conditions and will utilise all enforcement actions as appropriate.
“Some complaints are made anonymously with no details of driver, vehicle or Company being provided. Due to the lack of specific details it is difficult to take action or investigate further in these cases.”