600 taxi driv­ers bat­tling for fares

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

Nearly half of the pri­vate firm taxi driv­ers in the whole of South La­nark­shire are based in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, the Re­former can re­veal.

The to­tal num­ber is 1390, with 602 of those driv­ers lo­cated in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

The fig­ures were re­vealed as the row over the amount of pri­vate hire driv­ers who get li­cences in the area con­tin­ues to rum­ble on.

Two weeks ago the Re­former told how some cab­bies were so fed up that they were con­sid­er­ing walk­ing out, as they were hav­ing to work far more hours just to bring home the same amount of pay.

Over 140 driv­ers in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang were given a li­cence in 2016 alone, com­pared to just 30 in East Kil­bride and 69 in Hamil­ton.

The num­ber of driv­ers based purely in the Ruther­glen area high­lights the prob­lems they are fac­ing, ac­cord­ing to James McNi­col, a cabbie who has spo­ken out pre­vi­ously against the grow­ing num­ber of driv­ers.

He said: “It’s too high – how can there be 600 driv­ers work­ing in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang alone?

“I know there’s an­other 24 driv­ers who’ve started work­ing in the past few weeks and putting them into our sit­u­a­tion doesn’t add up.

“You must see nor­mal taxis sit­ting around the Cly­des­dale bank in Ruther­glen and not mov­ing some days – if they’re not mov­ing then how bad is it for ev­ery­one else?

“And they can have a limit, which we can’t have.

“You’ve got Ra­dio Cars, you’ve got S Cars, you’ve got Z Cars and you’ve got Ham­p­den Cabs in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang alone.”

While there are lim­its placed on the num­ber of cab­bies, there are no such re­stric­tions on pri­vate hire driv­ers.

When the Re­former con­tacted South La­nark­shire Coun­cil pre­vi­ously about the mat­ter, they pointed to an upcoming pro­vi­sion, from the Air Scot­land and Li­cenc­ing (Scot­land) Act, that would let coun­cils refuse pri­vate hire li­cences on the grounds of over-pro­vi­sion if they de­cided it was needed.

Too many Some taxi driv­ers in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang be­lieve South La­nark­shire Coun­cil are hand­ing out too many li­cences

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