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Taxi Newsroom

  • 18/04/2017

    South Lanarkshire Drivers Threaten Strike

    South Lanarkshire Drivers Threaten Strike

    South Lanarkshire Drivers Threaten Strike

    Taxi drivers in the Scottish towns of Cambuslang and Rutherglen have threatened strike action against their area council, to protest against an oversaturation of the number of taxis in the area.

    Drivers say that a sharp increase in the number of licenses granted in the region has severely affected their quality of life and ability to earn a decent wage.

    In 2016, South Lanarkshire Council granted 142 licenses to new taxi drivers. Such a significant increase in the number of hire-cars on the road requires a correspondingly large increase in the amount of work that’s available. In the Cambuslang-Rutherglen area, this clearly hasn’t been the case.

    ‘Over the last year or so, it's gotten really bad,’ said James McNicol, a driver for Cambuslang’s Zed Cars, ‘because there’s no limit to the amount of licences that can be given out. I’ve spoken to more than 60 drivers about a strike, because this is too much. The response has been very supportive’.

    Another of the area’s drivers, Charles Spiers, said that he has regularly petitioned the Council to respond to the issues.

    ‘Who will get the blame if drivers crash from fatigue?’ Mr Spiers said. ‘I know of drivers having to work twenty-four hours over a Friday and Saturday, just to pay the mortgage.

    ‘Older drivers in particular are pushing themselves too hard. You have the same amount of jobs, but twice the amount of drivers [to do them]’.

    Speaking on behalf of South Lanarkshire Council, Geraldine McCann, the Council’s officer for administration and legal services, said: ‘the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 does not currently permit the limiting of private hire cars. However, the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2016 has introduced a provision - which comes into force later this year - that will give licensing authorities the ability to refuse private hire car licences on the grounds of over-provision, should they deem it appropriate’.

    The issue of ever-increasing numbers of taxi drivers on the road has become a prevalent problem across the roads of the UK, with taxi drivers and private hire companies like Uber and Lyft competing for the same jobs. At this stage, the urgency of the need for the problems faced by South Lanarkshire’s drivers to be resolved has grown beyond evident.

    We hope that the legislation soon to be introduced to Scottish law brings positive change to the South Lanarkshire area. For more on such issues going in the future, make sure to keep checking in with the Taxi Centre.

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