Call for clampdown on illegal taxis

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Three furious taxi men have asked the authorities to stop unregistered drivers allegeldy taking their trade in Ballyshannon.

Three furious taxi men have asked the authorities to stop unregistered drivers allegeldy taking their trade in Ballyshannon.

Ballyshannon Legal Taxi Drivers (BLTD) have written to all the relevant agencies, identifying six people who they allege are illegally trading as taxis or hackneys.

One of the BLTD drivers, who asked not to be named, told the Democrat: “We pay out a lot of money to comply with regulations. These people are just picking up fares whenever they like, without having to worry about the time, effort or expense that goes into operating legally.

“We have to pay for our plates, the right insurance, extra tests on our cars. They pay nothing.

“It’s completely unfair and it’s illegal. There are seven registered taxi or hackney drivers in the town already. The ones who are unregistered are basically doubling the numbers.

“They don’t seem to have any fear of being caught: they are picking up fares right under CCTV cameras in the town.”

The DLTD say they’ve raised the issue a number of times over the last few years but two weeks ago, they decided to move their campaign forward. They wrote to the Taxi Regulator, local Social Welfare offices, the Revenue Commissioners, the Road Safety Authority and the PSV Inspector.

So far, they’ve heard nothing back.

“We’re asking the public to be aware of what’s going on,” one of the BLTD drivers said. “If you get into a car, make sure the driver’s picture and disk are clearly displayed. If not, you don’t know what risk you might be taking. If the car is in an accident and the driver doesn’t have the right insurance, you might not be covered.”