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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:30 am 
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Taxis to cease operating in Blackburn with Darwen tonight

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/n ... n-tonight/

MOST private hire vehicles will stop operating in Blackburn with Darwen borough indefinitely from midnight tonight.

The move follows a meeting of proprietors this afternoon over concerns of coronavirus.

Most black hackney cabs are understood to have stopped plying the trade on the borough's streets because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Qasim Khan, owners of Matrix Private Hire of Higher Barn Street in Blackburn, said: "A meeting of private hire firm owners this afternoon decided to stop operating.

"The black taxi cabs are already off the streets.

"This is about falling numbers of customers and drivers.

"We have been thinking about this for two or three days because of the health risk from coronavirus.

"Drivers just do not know who is going to get in the car next.

"The owners will review the position in three weeks."

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council's highways boss, said: "This was inevitable given the circumstances."


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:32 am 
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Qasim Khan, owners of Matrix Private Hire of Higher Barn Street in Blackburn, said: "A meeting of private hire firm owners this afternoon decided to stop operating."

Not sure this is the best move. Can understand why individual operators might want to close their offices if there's little in the way of rental or 'settle' money coming in. They won't want to pay office staff etc if they can't cover their wages.

A better way might be for operators to get together to provide some sort of skeleton service, which would minimise running costs, but would retain a service for the public, and provide some drivers with an income if they wanted to keep working - some might actually do rather well out of it.

Of course, maybe OK in theory, but logistically and in practical terms not so easy to organise. For example, maybe calls could be redirected to a nominated operator who stays open, but doubt if the others would want to do that for fear of losing the custom to the nominated operator in the long run.

And such an arrangement would probably amount to some sort of illegal collusion under competition law, strictly speaking. But for the coming few months all bets are off with regard to that sort of stuff.

Also, I suspect what's in the article above may be a tad exaggerated, and some sort of skeleton service will continue to be provided by PH operators. Just like the HCs, in fact, who are probably just reduced in numbers rather than completely 'off the streets' as claimed in the article. In fact the claim that they're all off is contradicted by the earlier statement in the article that simply "most" HCs have ceased plying for trade. Sounds about right.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:12 pm 
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A number of reasons for this, lack of trade, dangers through catching the bug, but also I suspect the costs of manning the phones when many drivers have left the circuits.

Maybe what the Chancellor announces tomorrow will lead us all to follow suit. [-o<

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