MINICAB DRIVERS in Liverpool are planning to, “bring the city to its knees” by blocking city roads on the day of the Grand National Festival on April 8.
The protest demonstration is in response to a change in Liverpool Council cab licence rules. Private hire and taxi drivers can no longer receive a temporary licence to work while criminal record checks are being carried out.
Minicab drivers say the change in regulations – after a number of sexual exploitation scandals involving cab drivers in Rochdale and Rotherham – has caused major problems.
PHV driver Ryan Jones (34) from Toxteth is leading the protest and said:
This is a real serious issue. Friends of mine have had to leave their homes because they can’t pay the rent or bills while they are off work waiting for these checks.
So, we need to make a point and show the council how serious this is. On Ladies Day and the Grand National, we aim to block off as many access points to the city centre as possible.
However, taxi drivers are not joining their minicab colleagues in the day of protest in and around Liverpool.
A hackney carriage spokesman said: “We can confirm that Taxi Alliance Liverpool are neither planning nor taking part in any demonstration that will hamper the public’s enjoyment at this year’s Grand National event.”
A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said: “Following a detailed consultation with the cab trade, drivers can no longer simply request a temporary badge if they have not got all of their documentation together by the time it expires.
The Liverpool Council spokesman added:
It is their responsibility to ensure they have it in place and as a matter of public safety, we have to ensure they hold valid, up-to-date criminal record documentation and medical certificates before they can be granted a licence.