Tariff Increase Proposal

25 07 2011

Following is a brief outline of PHCA’s tariff proposal; You, the public, and the drivers may comment on-line or give feedback directly to Mark Selley, Steve Baines, Gary Slater or Paul Gunson. If you wish to do so, the closing date is 31 August 2011.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The flagfalls have been unchanged since 2004.

Council have advised they are not prepared to see yardages reduced any further.

For daytime journeys (T1) the average fare is £4-00, for nightime (T2) it is £6-00 (these are approximate).

On an average week, 5 days, Fri and Sat night, a driver will do approximately 100 jobs of which about 45% have extras.

For jobs with extras, the average number of passengers is 3.

PROPOSAL SUMMARY

Tariff 1, flag increase to £2-20

Tariff 2, flag increase to £3-00

Tariff 3, remains, double Tariff 1.

Extras increase from £0-20 to £0-30 (roughly equates an extra £9-00 pw). The public will be informed that extras are NOT to be applied for shopping bags and boxes, or suitcases unless carried outside the passenger compartment.

Preston City Council have advised that calendar controlled taxi-meters will be introduced with the next tariff increase. To offset the impact, particularily for rail drivers, we will propose an ATI (automatic tariff increase) on tariff 1. After travelling 2.5 miles, the yardage incremental will increase.  Although drivers may see a slight reduction on short out of town journeys, they will gain on longer journeys.

Mark Selley





Taxi rage driver still on the road

13 08 2009

From the LEP

A taxi driver who ploughed his cab into a young couple in a row over a fare has been allowed to keep his licence – despite being convicted of assault.

Attiq Ur-Rahman, 33, mounted the pavement and pinned 19-year-olds Edward Holden and Rachel Botes to a barbed wire fence.

Hackney cab driver Ur-Rahman, of Nevett Street, Callon, denied assault but was found guilty at Preston Magistrates’ Court and ordered to do 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £300 costs.

But it has emerged that Ur-Rahman will still be able to work Preston’s streets until his fate is decided at a council meeting on September 10 –more than a month after he was convicted.

Today, Edward – who, like Rachel, suffered bruises to his legs in the cab rage incident – blasted the decision and said: “We can’t believe it. He is driving the same cab he used as a weapon against us and is allowed to continue driving it. It is dangerous to the public.”

Edward had hailed Ur-Rahman’s taxi from outside Yates’s at about 12.15am on New Year’s Day. He was going back to his home in Woodlands Way in Barton, stopping to pick up Rachel who had been at a party with friends in Cottam.

Nightclub promoter Edward said: “I got in a taxi and agreed a set price of £25. We picked my girlfriend up and drove to Barton.

“When we got near Broughton traffic lights, the meter was on £26 and he started tapping on it and asking for more money. I said we had agreed a set price.”

But Ur-Rahman stopped the cab on the corner of the A6 just after the sign for Barton.

Edward said: “We were in the middle of nowhere, it was dark and wet and my girlfriend had high heels on.

“He was asking me for more money. We were just dumped at the side of the road.

“Then he revved his engine, went up the kerb and ran into us, pinning us into the fence. He did it with such force the fence broke. My girlfriend was in hysterics. We were in shock. We had bruises all the way up our legs.”

Four witnesses on the other side of the road saw what had happened and Edward got their names and phoned the police. He also made a mental note of the driver’s number written inside the cab.

Edward added: “We always use black cabs thinking it’s the safest thing to do but obviously, in this case, it was not.

“We never get black cabs now. My girlfriend never seems to want to go to town because of having to get a taxi.”

Ur-Rahman was ordered to pay £100 compensation to both Edward and Rachel.

Rachel, a student at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “I’d always been told by my mum and dad: ‘always get a black cab because it’s the safest way to go home’ but now there’s not a chance. I would never get one on my own.”

Today Ur-Rahman, a father of two, said he was planning to appeal.
He said: “I have been a taxi driver for three and a half years and I only do it so I can be home quickly because of my five-year-old son who is disabled… I don’t like this job because you get a lot of abuse.

“The couple were shouting at me and I felt intimidated. This has just put me off driving, but I have to return to work because I need to earn a living for my family.”

A Preston Council spokesman said Ur-Rahman would be able to continue driving until a review of his licence on September 10.

To read the public’s comments on this story, visit the link HERE





10 08 2009
A group of Preston cabbies are threatening strike action in a row over penalty points.

Scores of the city’s hackney cab drivers claim they are the victims of an “over zealous” approach from town hall enforcement officers.

Drivers say they are being hit with five penalty points by officers every time they are spotted parking up away from a recognised taxi rank.

Under the council’s penalty points scheme drivers are given points for different infringements, including defects on their cabs.

If a driver hits 20 points they are brought to the town hall for a hearing.

But the drivers claim there are not enough ranks in the city to cater for Hackney cabs, meaning some have to park elsewhere.

And they say with schools being out for summer, drivers who usually have school contracts are joining the fight for rank space.

But council bosses say they have stepped up their enforcement because of complaints from the public.

Up to 50 drivers met on the car park at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground to decide what action to take.

They also want a full-time night time enforcement officer because they claim some private hire vehicles are parking up and “cherry picking” customers outside takeaways.

Their concerns are now set to be fed back to council bosses.

James Fraser, 45, one of the drivers who organised the meeting, said: “You would think they would be a bit more lenient with it being the summer holidays.

“I don’t mind getting five points for a bald tyre, but we have got to park somewhere. What do they want us to do, just drive round? What about the carbon footprint?

“There could be the possibility of strike action among the drivers if they don’t get what they are asking for.”

A spokesman for Preston Council said: “We have received complaints about taxi drivers parking on double yellow lines and pavements when ranks are full.

“As such, we have stepped up our enforcement efforts and would remind taxi drivers that if ranks are full, then they should move on to another available rank.

“Any driver caught breaking these rules could receive five penalty points, although drivers can appeal against this if they feel they have been treated harshly.”

From the Lancashire Evening Post

For comments from the LEP’s readership about this article please press the link above.





Proof that Taxi Driving is a good Living

21 06 2009

While trawling through my many hundreds of Taxi related photos, I noticed I had a couple of pictures of the same taxi driver doing the same pose five years apart.

I couldn’t believe how little the driver had aged in the five years that had passed between the photos being taken.  So to show you what I mean let me introduce Peter Tyson’s time lapse photo.

Pete's Time lapse





We are not the country’s grumpiest workers

4 06 2009

From the Lancashire Evening Post

 

Smiling taxi drivers have hit back after a survey branded them the country’s grumpiest workers. Preston’s cabbies rubbished claims they are bottom of the league for laughs, saying they were naturally friendly people and always willing to share a joke with customers.

In a survey of 4,000 British workers to find out who laughed most in the workplace, less than 1% of taxi drivers said they laughed regularly during the day.

Many blamed traffic jams, the rising cost of petrol and drunken customers for their cheerlessness.
Former Preston North End player Eric Potts, 59, who has been a taxi driver for 18 years, insisted he always made an effort to have a laugh with customers.

He said: “It’s not a grumpy profession, we just don’t have that much to laugh at at the moment. “But you always have to put a smile on your face and have a joke with customers.”
Syed Bukhari, 36, who has been a taxi driver for three years, blames the recession for cabbies lack of laughs.

He said: “We have been very quiet since the recession started.
“I haven’t done a job for two hours which means I haven’t made any money for two hours.
“You can’t laugh when you’re on your own for most of the day, but everyone always has a laugh when we get together.
“We are naturally very friendly people and will always have a chat with customers. It’s just the situation and circumstances.”

The survey also found that the things most likely to make us laugh are traditional jokes and other people’s misfortunes.
Ahmed Hasan, 49, has been a cabbie for 20 years, said: “It’s a load of rubbish – we always laugh and joke.
“I enjoy being a taxi driver and I enjoy talking to the customers.”

Taxi drivers beat fitness instructors and undertakers to claim top spot as the grumpiest profession, with secretaries and housewives said to be the happiest.





Sex swap taxi driver sacked.

4 06 2009

From the Lancashire Evening Post

A sex change taxi driver has claimed she was sacked for wearing bright nail polish and a skirt.Andre Edwards, who was born a man but now lives as a woman, believes she lost her job at Leyland Taxis because her employers and customers could not deal with her unorthodox lifestyle.

However, taxi bosses say she was dismissed after four months because of complaints from colleagues and customers about her “bad attitude”, including making comments about their hair and weight.

But the 50-year-old, who is awaiting a sex change operation, said she was ostracised for wearing bright nail polish and a skirt.

Andre said: “I am absolutely devastated. I’ve been through a lot and when I got this job I started to think life wasn’t as bad as I thought.

“When I went for the job I explained about the gender issues and they said ‘as long as you can drive, we don’t care’.

“Getting the job was a real boost for me because acceptance breeds confidence.

“This time last year, I wouldn’t have dreamt of wearing bright nail polish or anything like that.

“But when I started I was ostracised by some of the other drivers. Most people were fine with it but there were always whispers and some people wouldn’t talk to me.”

Phil Briggs, owner of Leyland Taxis, said he was forced to sack Andre after complaints about her attitude towards colleagues and clients.

He said: “My philosophy is that you have always got to give someone a chance in life.

“Andre came to us after another firm said they didn’t want to know.

“It has nothing to do with appearance or lifestyle, but after a great deal of complaints from members of the public and staff, I had to explain that we had to let her go.

“She upset a number of staff with comments about their weight and I had complaints from customers saying her attitude towards the public was appalling.”

Andre started at Leyland Taxis, based in Hough Lane, in January.

She said: “There were a couple of people that were uneasy, but I even did the school runs.

“Women especially seemed genuinely interested. I am a good driver and that’s all they care about at the end of the day.

“It shouldn’t matter if I’m wearing a skirt or a pair of jeans.”

Andre, who was born Andrew, said she first knew she was not like other children when she was just 10-years-old.

However, she later married a woman in a bid to be accepted.

But when her wife died of heart failure in 2004, Andre, who lives near Ormskirk, slowly started to live as a woman. She grew her hair and ordered hormone replacement pills from the internet. She hopes to undergo a full sex change operation next year.

Mr Briggs said he first gave Andre a warning on February 16 after receiving three complaints from female members of staff.

One employee said Andre called her haircut ‘dreadful’, while another complained about comments about her weight.

Mr Briggs said a regular customer complained the next day that she was ‘uncomfortable’ with Andre.

There were also complaints in April and May, Mr Briggs said.





‘Taxis will circle the city’

19 05 2009
Cabbies have warned scores of taxis will be left circling Preston unless a long-term agreement on parking is thrashed out with railway station bosses.

When work started on a new multi-storey car park last year, Virgin Trains, which runs the station, limited parking outside the building to just 12 taxis.

That sparked furious go-slow protests from more than 100 drivers with permits to wait there.

In response, a temporary ‘feeder’ rank was set up on the junction of Corporation Street and Ring Way.

Now there are major fears over what will happen when that temporary rank disappears, with new developments set to be built there.

Virgin has said there will be “no return” to having up to 60 cabs queueing outside the station.

Mark Selley, secretary of the Preston Hackney Carriage Association, said: “When all is said and done there are 100 cabs which work at the rail so if the feeder rank does close there is going to be an almighty problem with where those cabs are going to go.

“The feeder rank could close at very short notice. We need a contingency because we don’t want to return to a situation where there are 30 cabs circling round.

“We have met with Virgin and they have made it quite clear they don’t want to return to the situation we had before which was two or three lines on the station.

“They have mooted a new feeder area when the car park is finished on June 15 but we have to meet with them because if it is undercover we need to make sure there is room for the cabs…and also our radios may not work undercover.”

He said he was “not convinced” of the reasons why the station cannot return to how it was before work on the car park started.








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