The County You Live, Work And Play
A group of cabbies who have set up the Glasgow Taxi Association (GTA) have written to councillors asking them to investigate the contract awarded to Central Cab Company earlier in September.
Drivers say the contract is breaking the law as taxis from the North Lanarkshire firm would be operating within Glasgow boundaries without a licence to do so.
They claim a previous court case between a taxi driver and Glasgow City Council ruled in favour of the local authority after it found the driver to be operating in Glasgow without a licence to run in the city.
They have also raised health and safety concerns, claiming the vehicles would not be checked under Glasgow’s regulations and the authorities would have no record of vehicles’ history.
In a letter sent to councillors last week, the GTA said: “It is an understatement to say that GTA members and colleagues we have spoken to on the street, and those we have communicated with via our closed forum, are furious at the decision.
“It is inexplicable that GCC Procurement has decided to send Glasgow Council Tax payers money outwith the Glasgow economy.
“Thousands of Taxi and Private Hire drivers and their families are affected by such irresponsible decision-making.”
The group says the council are “breaking their own rules” by allowing the firm to operate in the city.
A spokesman said: “The work is in Glasgow, going door to door within the city boundaries.
“They have procured this North Lanarkshire firm, doing 26 runs per day - 52 journeys in the city boundaries.
“We tried to contact the procurement department but they have been very vague and haven’t explained why this has been allowed.
“Vehicle standards are also a concern. Glasgow council don’t allow fixed steps that come out to in van-conversion taxis. The council don’t allow them as they break quite easily.
“However North Lanarkshire council do. In Glasgow a five year rule exists too.
“It stops a Glasgow operator from accessing a used taxi. They can’t try to licence a vehicle older than 5 years old that hasn’t been licensed before.
“But North Lanarkshire has taxis more than six years old which the council has no history of.
“They [the council] are breaking their own rules.”
A spokesman from Glasgow City Council said they struggle to meet capacity at peak time, even with the seven existing taxi firms already working on the contract, and the problem would get worse if companies from outside the city were excluded.
He also said at least £4.7m worth of work, around 93% of funds, go to companies in Glasgow, and all the taxis working on contracts for the council will have to be presented at a Glasgow testing facility for inspection.
The spokesman added: “A minimum of ninety three per cent of the value of the taxi contracts recently awarded by the city council went to Glasgow based taxi firms and, within that award, Glasgow TOA had by far the largest single share of any company.
“The council needs to have flexibility within its contracts to both meet demand and provide certain services to clients who may live beyond its boundaries. In part, some of the contract awards reflect this, where the tender standards were met.”