Taxi drivers in Wolverhampton will confront the city council’s leader as they threaten to strike over a lack of ranks and plans to license older vehicles.
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They say there was ‘no progress’ in a meeting with licensing bosses on Thursday so will instead take their complaints to Councillor Roger Lawrence.
And if they cannot come to an agreement the drivers will take a vote on striking at peak weekend times. Drivers claim there are already too many taxis in the city – and they fear allowing older vehicles will make the situation worse. Two groups representing taxi drivers will attend a meeting at the civic centre in the morning.
And they insist that if they do not find a compromise they will strike. The groups say they are prepared to strike on Friday and Saturday nights. It comes after more than 100 drivers staged a go-slow last August. They are organising a meeting with Councillor Lawrence over the coming week.
Chairman of Wolverhampton Taxi Owners’ Association, Parminder Sekhon, said the meeting on Thursday left him ‘feeling like we are banging our heads against a brick wall’.
He added: “If we don’t get any progress from the meeting with Roger Lawrence we will take a vote from the drivers.” Mohammed Khurshid, hairman of the Wolverhampton Hackney Carriage Drivers’ Association, said many drivers were struggling to make ends meet with rising fuel costs and greater competition for trade.
Colin Parr, Wolverhampton City Council’s licensing manager, said: “We have listened and worked closely with the trade, taking into account their concerns while drawing up a plan that will help us stimulate the growth of taxis in Wolverhampton to meet increasing demand – particularly in the city centre at busy weekend nights.”