Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson backs campaign to bring t

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with taxi campaigners Vincent Kontske and Sefton Labour Councillor and licensed taxi driver Tony Carr.



Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson is supporting calls from two of his constituents for the government to reconsider changes to taxi regulations. 

 

The plans recommended by the Law Commission would de-regulate the taxi industry and taxi drivers are worried that it would affect safety as well as hitting the prosperity of taxi drivers and their families.

Bill Esterson met Vincent Konetske, who lives in Aintree and runs three licensed taxis in Liverpool, and Sefton Councillor and licensed taxi driver Tony Carr who is also supporting the campaign.

 

Vincent told Bill: “If de-restriction happens we’re finished. Drivers face a massive loss of income and the changes proposed by the government will lead to a severe lowering of standards. These include safety of vehicles, the vetting of drivers, a massive rise in traffic in city and town centres, pollution and financial ruin for many drivers.

“Taxi drivers like me have invested in cabs which are specially converted for use by wheelchair users. The changes would remove the need for taxi drivers to have wheelchair adaptations."

In those places where regulation has been removed, there has been a cut in standards because of the increased competition. Prices have gone up and drivers have had to work long hours to earn a living, which is not a safe situation for them or for passengers. Vehicle maintenance has dceclined and there has been less scrutiny of drivers applying for a licence.

Bill said: “The de-regulation has been promoted by Addison Lee a taxi company in London who support the Conservative Party. It concerns me that safety might be under threat and that decent taxi drivers in both the licensed and private hire sectors might see their livelihoods at risk. 

 

"I shall be raising this issue in parliament and asking questions about whether the proposals are good for anyone other than friends of the Tory Party.”

Vincent and Cllr Carr were due to visit parliament to lobby MPs.

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