Fiona, as a Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, has called on the Transport Minister Chris Grayling MP for measures to be introduced to stop cross border hiring, where a taxi company is registered in one area but operates in another even when they do not have a licence to do so.
“I have met a number of times with a group of taxi drivers from the Congleton Constituency for whom this has been a major problem for some time. They tell me that taxi drivers without the licence to operate here in Cheshire come across the county border to take business from within this area, which they do not have the right to do. This is particularly concerning on late weekend nights when local taxi drivers who work long hours need this business and it is galling for them to have it wrongly taken.”
“Over time I have tried a number of measures to stop this happening in the Congleton area including arranging spot checks co-ordinated with Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Police. However speaking within the past few days with local taxi drivers they tell me the situation is still not resolved. This is why I, and other MPs, are pressing the Transport Minister to introduce new measures to tackle cross border hiring – to protect not only passengers from unlicensed operators but also importantly the livelihoods of taxi drivers in my constituency.”
Fiona, along with other MPs, is calling for a statutory definition of cross border, stronger locally appropriate regulations and national minimum licensing standards.
“We must ensure we have fair regulations for local taxi drivers who work extremely hard to serve this community."
Local taxi driver Paul Charles of Fastax said on behalf of taxi drivers in this area:
“This has been going on for five years. We are delighted this is now being discussed in Parliament. Fiona has met with us a number of times and we are grateful to her for her support in raising this issue on behalf of the Local Taxi Drivers Association.”