Taxis have had a tough time and need our sup­port

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS - SI­MON BROUDER’S sbrouder@ker­ry­ | 066 7145582

WHAT­EVER your opin­ion on the new taxi ranks in town – and in­deed on taxis in gen­eral – we should all have a de­gree of sym­pa­thy for the lo­cal driv­ers who are se­ri­ously con­cerned for the fu­ture of their liveli­hoods.

There are now about 100 taxi driv­ers work­ing in Tralee and the Tralee Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion say that as a re­sult of the new rank sys­tem as many as one in five could be out of busi­ness in a year.

Some may ac­cuse them of scare­mon­ger­ing but their pre­dic­tion was given added weight on Mon­day when the as­so­ci­a­tion’s for­mer Chair­man Terry Boyle an­nounced he was quit­ting the busi­ness af­ter 26 years be­hind the wheel.

This is not an out­right at­tack on the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion – The Ker­ry­man is strongly in favour of all im­prove­ment works in Tralee and the new look Mall is a tremen­dous ad­di­tion to the town – how­ever there are some is­sues that need to be ad­dressed.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions be­fore, of­ten in this very col­umn, I have ex­pressed grave reser­va­tions about the new rank at Ab­by­court which I, and many oth­ers, firmly be­lieve isn’t fit for pur­pose.

We’ll have to wait and see how the new rank sys­tem works out – there will be a full re­view by next Septem­ber – but un­til then we should sup­port the many taxi driv­ers who have en­dured a dif­fi­cult few months.

They work long, unso­cia­ble hours and pro­vide a vi­tal ser­vice that keeps the town func­tion­ing. That shouldn’t be for­got­ten.

Ask your­self this. If you heard 20 jobs were at risk in a lo­cal shop or fac­tory wouldn’t you feel sorry for the staff ? Why should our taxi driv­ers be treated any dif­fer­ent?

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