TAXI DRIVERS say their jobs and livelihoods are at stake after Nottingham City Council introduced a new penalty points system.
Cabbies can receive points for a range of offences, including; illegal parking, driving a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition and failing to use a taxi meter for journeys within a set distance.
Each offence is worth between four and six points and taxi and private hire drivers could have their licence revoked if they clock up more than 12 points in three years.
Nottingham cabbies say however there is a severe shortage of rank spaces in the city centre and that trade has already fallen by 40 per cent since the council pedestrianised Station Street and moved the taxi rank.
Chairman of the Hackney Taxi Association Umer Mahood (33) said: “The first weekend was shambolic and the council only appears to be targeting hackney carriage drivers. We have limited spaces already and drivers are having to go round and round in circles rather than pull up.
“The council wants to leave us with empty pockets. They are promoting trams and buses, which they want to be successful, but they also need to think of this trade and the drivers’ families who depend on them.”
Wahid Khaliq (45) has worked as a taxi driver in Nottingham for 20 years and said:
I am really concerned about the 12 points system. If the council start giving out points on double yellow lines, 12 points could easily be collected within a month or even a week. They should give us more ranks, because if we get 12 points and banned, that’s our livelihood.
A spokesman for Nottingham City council said: “Drivers are able to challenge a penalty points notice. All points will remain on their licences for three years and will be deemed ‘spent’ following this three year period.”