They claim too many licences are being issued
Taxi drivers in Rutherglen and Cambuslang have threatened to go on strike if limits are not placed on the number of licenses handed out by the council.
They say the current situation has led to a saturation of drivers which forces them to work long hours.
Drivers at a private taxi firm in Cambuslang have hit out at South Lanarkshire Council - and could strike if their work situation does not improve.
Cabbies say the local authority has allowed the taxi market to be over saturated with drivers meaning there is not enough work for them to make a decent wage.
Currently there is no limit to the number of licences that can be issued for private hire cars.
A total of 142 new licences were granted for taxi drivers in Rutherglen and Cambuslang alone in 2016 – more than the rest of South Lanarkshire Council combined.
James McNicol works at Cambuslang’s Zed Cars and believes companies are hiring so many drivers it has become impossible to get steady work.
He said: “Many of the drivers are so tired of this.
“I’ve spoken to more than 60 drivers about a strike because this is too much and the response has been very supportive.
“Over the last year or so it’s got really bad because there is no limit to the amount of licences that can be given out.
“A hundred people could walk into the council tomorrow, put in an application and all of them could then have a taxi badge a month later.
“The bosses will always think that more drivers can make them more money. So you’re making three pounds an hour – we’re working for less the minimum wage.
“There are other drivers who are concerned at how bad this is getting, but it’s like hitting a brick wall trying to bring this up with anyone.”
Driver, Charles Spiers, has spoken to South Lanarkshire Council regularly over the years in an attempt to get something done.
He said: “What I’ve put to them is who will get the blame if drivers crash through fatigue?
“I know of guys having to work 24 hours over a Friday and Saturday just to pay the mortgage. Older drivers in particular are pushing themselves too hard – you’ve got the same amount of jobs but twice the amount of drivers.
“They’ve reached a saturation point and this goes across all the companies.
“The most logical thing would be to make the licences non-transferable and place a limit on them.”
Lisa McPherson’s father James worked as a taxi driver for 15 years before passing away two years ago, aged 65. She believes that his health problems were caused because of the hours he was forced to work.
She said: “He worked himself into the ground and he never had any time off at all. The only time he had off would be when he was going away on holiday, otherwise he’d be working.
“They’re doing 12-hour shifts and health wise it’s not safe. People always say to put your health first and that’s not happening now.”
Geraldine McCann, head of administration and legal services at the council, said: “The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 does not currently permit the limiting of private hire cars.
“However the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2016 has introduced a provision, which comes into force later this year, which will give licensing authorities the ability to refuse private hire car licences on the grounds of over-provision should they deem it appropriate.”
You’ve got the same amount of jobs but twice the amount of drivers
Fed up Taxi drivers in Rutherglen and Cambuslang are calling for limits to the number of licences handed out