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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:40 am 
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Thanet cab bosses: “Passengers ‘put at risk’ due to decline of council licensing services”

https://theisleofthanetnews.com/2019/11 ... -services/

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Cab office bosses Maria, Andy, Afran and Karl (Image: Isle of Thanet News)

Taxi passengers are being “put at risk” due to a major decline in services at Thanet council’s licensing department, according to a group of isle cab bosses.

Thanet Private Hire Association consists of Thanet Cars, Central Cars and United Cars, who work together to ensure best practice across their firms – an arrangement which is beneficial to both their businesses and their customers.

Between them they have more than 100 years’ experience in the industry and are responsible for 370 drivers on their books.

Andy Doody of Thanet Cars has worked in the industry for 40 years and says the breakdown in communication with Thanet council’s licensing department is causing major concerns, adding that the group have struggled in vain to get in touch or have their queries answered.

He said: “If you have an emergency such as police stopping a car with children in the back, you can’t get in touch with the department.

“They say you have to call after 2pm, but you often can’t get through and if you email, the auto-response says they will respond in ten days.”

Another serious issue raised by the TPHA is drivers working for other smaller firms while they drive under their company name.

Maria Seagar, director of Central Cars, explained: “A car with our branding on and badge name could be picking up customers from a smaller firm.

“If anything happens, there is no way of tracing the driver. “This is especially concerning if elderly people and children are travelling.

“Sometimes we get a phone call asking where the fare is and we have no idea about it because we haven’t taken the booking.”

Another issue concerning new drivers is the tests undertaken to gain their licensed badges.

The test of the driver’s knowledge of the area’s roads is only being offered on a monthly basis when previously it was every fortnight.

Andy said: “Drivers cannot wait a month to earn money so are being put off from applying for their badges.”

Maria said: “The summer period was particularly hard as the lack of drivers sometimes meant we could not pick up a fare for more than an hour.

“Thanet is getting busier and busier during the period and we could not get enough drivers and it was awful to not provide our usual service.”

Andy says new drivers have been forced to wait for up to four hours to download forms at the council’s Gateway building and says some drivers are being awarded their badges without basic English, with one driver turning up with a translator.

Regular inspections to assess a car’s cleanliness and safety have also been ditched in favour of spot-checks which the TPHA say are not fit for purpose and do nothing to stop drivers with substandard or damaged vehicles moving from one firm to another.

Despite a lengthy meeting with the authority’s head of Safer Neighbourhoods, Penny Button, in August nothing has progressed, which has left TPHA members exasperated.

Andy said: “It’s a shame that, after all that was said from licensing with regards to the sharing of ideas, the safety aspects that were raised, and the fact that everyone agreed it could be a real danger to the public, nothing has happened since. There is now talk of strikes.”

A spokesman for Thanet council said: “We have responded to requests from those in the taxi trade and are working on a new licensing policy for consultation that balances their needs with those of the public.

“Developing a policy to protect the public, encourage a respected trade, and ensure a more environmentally friendly fleet is a big undertaking, and a proposal is expected in January 2020.”


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:30 am 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
Quote:
Thanet Private Hire Association consists of Thanet Cars, Central Cars and United Cars, who work together to ensure best practice across their firms – an arrangement which is beneficial to both their businesses and their customers.


Hmmmmm........................the only reason taxi companies work together is for their mutual benefit i.e. price control the normal situation is to be at each others throats

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:25 pm 
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Another serious issue raised by the TPHA is drivers working for other smaller firms while they drive under their company name.

No they want drivers kept within their own little cartel. Heaven forbid a driver working for another operator.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:26 pm 
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“If anything happens, there is no way of tracing the driver. “This is especially concerning if elderly people and children are travelling.

If only someone could invent a portable transmitter, maybe even name it after a fruit. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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