ST ALBANS CITY & DISTRICT COUNCIL has come under fire from the town’s hackney cab association over its alleged failure to stop minicabs from picking up passengers illegally outside local clubs, pubs and restaurants.
General secretary of the St Albans Taxi Association Mudassar Yasin said: “This issue has been going on since 1999. Private hire taxis have been pulling up and asking the general public if they would like a taxi.
“But the reality is, when they pick up passengers from the taxi ranks, their insurance becomes void.
“If an accident were to happen neither the driver nor customer would be insured.
“It’s not just one specific taxi company, but a number of drivers from different ones. They’re doing it for the money because the companies aren’t providing them with enough work to make a living.
“There will be a death or a serious injury because the council are doing nothing about it.”
Mike Lovelady, head of legal and regulatory services at St Albans City & District Council, said: “We are more than aware of issues surrounding the use of taxi ranks at peak times.
“The council provides taxi ranks in the district where hackney carriages can wait to be hired by passengers who have pre-booked with a licensed operator. Private hire vehicles are not therefore entitled to park or ply trade on the council’s taxi ranks.
“The council is aware that the taxi ranks get very busy at certain times and the council is writing to private hire operators to remind them of the terms of their licences.”