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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:56 pm 
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Taxi drivers demand action on illegal lifts ... gal-lifts/

A joint letter on behalf of the Jersey Taxi Drivers Association and firms Yellow Cabs, Citicabs, Liberty Cabs and Domino Cabs has been sent to Home Affairs Minister Len Norman accusing the government of failing to tackle the issue, which has been on the agenda for several years.

In it, the signatories cite increasing frustration over Facebook groups such as Jersey Lifts, where Islanders without the relevant licences, background checks or insurance can post that they are available to offer transport for money.

The letter, which has been seen by the JEP, said: ‘Taxi drivers in Jersey are becoming increasingly concerned and annoyed at the lack of action by the authorities to tackle the issue of the illegal taxi service. The local taxi-cab industry has undergone some major changes over the past five years, which has seen the regulations for taxi drivers increased, mostly at their own expense.’

It also suggests that similar illegal activities would not be tolerated in other sectors like the finance industry and the fishing industry, and points to different jurisdictions such as Southampton where a strict approach has been taken towards illegal taxi services with heavy fines and groups being shut down.

‘Like a lot of local businesses the taxi industry has been badly affected by the coronavirus epidemic which has decimated the visitor and travelling business trade and virtually closed down the hospitality sector, all of which has severely impacted our incomes, having to also put up with these parasites feeding off our trade is just not acceptable at any time and must be acted on without further delay, the law of the Island should be upheld at all times.’

Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis raised concerns around Jersey Lifts during a recent Scrutiny hearing, and highlighted the safety risks that came with drivers operating uninsured. He said he found it ‘very scary that people can set this up’ and that he would not want any member of his family ‘entering a vehicle belonging to one of these people’.

Jersey Taxi Drivers Association president Steve Marsh said the situation ‘needed to be dealt with’ and that they were awaiting a response from Mr Norman.

‘We need to band together to sort the problem out,’ he said. ‘There doesn’t seem to be any action or concern at all. In the Scrutiny hearing Kevin Lewis said he was dreading the moment when there is an accident.

‘If anyone wants to run a legitimate taxi company they should go through the relevant channels to obtain the knowledge, the licensing, and very importantly the enhanced DBS [police] checks and security.’


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