Council confirms it will not discipline any of the taxi drivers in Horsefair protest

NONE of the Wisbech taxi drivers who took part in the mass protest last week are to be disciplined, it was confirmed this week. But drivers have been accused of consistently abusing their rank by leaving vehicles unattended, and warned that flouting the

NONE of the Wisbech taxi drivers who took part in the mass protest last week are to be disciplined, it was confirmed this week.

But drivers have been accused of "consistently abusing" their rank by leaving vehicles unattended, and warned that flouting the rules could mean the loss of their licence to work in the town.

The drivers -- who are fighting a proposal to move their rank away from the bus station -- have been warned that leaving a vehicle could land them with a fine of up to �200.

Last week more than 30 taxi drivers massed their vehicles on the Wisbech bus station, as part of their protest against a proposal to move the rank off the site.


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During the protest, one driver had his number taken by a council official when he left his vehicle to visit nearby toilets.

Councillor Kit Owen, Fenland District Council's portfolio holder with responsibility for licensing said this week: "There is no disciplinary action to be taken, but anyone who was doing anything incorrectly has been warned of that."

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This week a letter was sent to all Fenland taxi drivers, claiming: "Consistent abuse of taxi ranks is occurring, particularly in Wisbech by taxi drivers leaving their taxis unattended on taxi ranks.

"If it is deemed that an offence has, or indeed is being committed, the council will take appropriate action and drivers reported for such offences will have their fitness to remain licensed reviewed by the licensing authority."

The letter also reminds drivers that they could be fined up to �500 for refusing to drive to any place "within the prescribed distance."

The letter from Kim Winterton, licensing regulatory officer for Fenland District Council has been attacked as "provocative" by Dave Patrick chairman of the Wisbech and District Hackney Carriage Drivers Association.

"We do not abuse the Horsefair system," he said. "But I am very pleased to hear there will be no repercussions for drivers after our protest."

Councillor Kit Owen said: "There is no doubt that something has to be done about the current situation," he said. "There are simply too many vehicles in too small a space and that poses real problems with people's safety."

The consultation over the proposed move ends later this month, and the council's licensing committee is due to meet in December to make a decision over the taxi rank's future.

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