Lo disappointed by long-running taxi changes

Alliance Environment spokesperson Anna Lo has said she is disappointed it has taken eight years to bring forward changes that affect the licensing of taxis.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after Environment Minister Mark H Durkan announced the changes to be introduced in May, including new classes of taxi licence replacing existing PSV licence categories and the capacity for people to hail down taxis at weekends in Belfast city centre.

Ms Lo said she supported the majority of the measures but believed they should have been introduced some time ago.

“The Taxis Act 2008 enabled the legislation to make these changes. Therefore it is disappointing it took until 2016 before we saw movement on this issue. Whilst a period of time to allow the industry to prepare for the changes is understandable, eight years is far too long.

“In any big cities where taxis are an essential means of transport, people take it for granted they can hail them anywhere without having to book in advance or walk to a taxi rank. I hope this move will see such practice become the norm in Belfast.

“However, I am disappointed by the creation of a designated Belfast zone. This could be confusing for the public, particularly tourists not used to our taxi regulations.”

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