Armstrong says new taxi legislation needs reviewed

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said the Department must review proposed changes to taxi legislation to ensure best service for both customers and drivers.

Under new legislation being introduced tomorrow (October 1), all taxis in Northern Ireland will be required to have an approved meter and printer, with minimum fares also increased. However, Ms Armstrong said it was vital taxi drivers were treated fairly by the move, while adding it was important the changes were communicated widely to the public.

“There is unquestionably a need to look at licensing classifications and metering across the industry, however, there has been poor communication on this issue from the Department for Infrastructure since the beginning, both to taxi drivers and members of the public. I will continue to push for that to be improved.

“Some of the changes will stop some taxis from charging exorbitant fees to the likes of people with certain disabilities, as it takes longer to load and secure a wheelchair, as well as preventing rural dwellers from being overcharged for journeys. However, we must ensure neither taxi drivers or customers are disadvantaged by this move.

“The Committee for Infrastructure is aware there are issues over this matter and have asked for an urgent update from the Department. We will also be seeking feedback from taxi operators and individual traders to see their views on the proposals.

“In the meantime, it is imperative more is done to raise awareness of these changes, given the public’s understandable lack of faith in the transparency of the current Executive.”

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