GALLERY: Protesting taxi drivers call on Fenland District Council to prosecute FACT
- Credit: Archant
ANGRY taxi drivers converged on Fenland Hall today, as their spokesman handed in a letter calling on the district council to prosecute the community transport organisation FACT.
Taxi drivers claim that FACT is operating illegally by offering transport to members who do not qualify for the subsidised transport, and the organisation’s increasing workload is hitting the livelihood of taxi drivers across Fenland.
While handing in the letter, spokesman Dave Humphrey also delivered grant applications from 50 taxi drivers who want a £6,000 grant from the council because they provide “essential transport service for many of our society’s elderly and mobility challenged residents.”
Thirty separate grant applications were handed in, alongside a combined application from another 20 drivers. According to the taxi drivers, FACT received £30,000 in grant funding for new vehicles in 2010 and 2011.
Mr Humphrey, who also complains that FACT is advertising under the title of taxi and private hire services, said: “We don’t expect to receive the grant funding, but we want the council to stop FACT behaving illegally or unethically.”
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He added: “Fenland District Council first told us they did not issue the permits for FACT to operate, but the Traffic Commissioners says te council does issue the Permit 19s, so the council does have power to act, and we are asking them to do something.”
Taxi driver Steve Watson said: “FACT’s operation is affecting our livelihood. As their work load has increased, my work has decreased, and my takings are down by a minimum of 30 per cent.”
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Owner driver Peter Dawson added: “FACT has affected by income drastically, things have got much worse over the last nine months.”
Cobby Thompson, a taxi driver for the last five years, added: “My takings have gone down by 30 to 35 per cent over the last nine months.”