Complaints against York taxi drivers revealed

Photograph: Richard McDougall

Complaints made against taxis in York include drivers being aggressive towards cyclists, refusing lifts to disabled passengers and allegations about bad parking or driving.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed City of York Council received 154 complaints in 2016, 319 in 2017 and 277 last year.

But more than half of them were about the behaviour of drivers registered with other local authorities.

Accusations made range from serious allegations – such as violent behaviour or a driver taking photos of a woman’s children and posting them on Facebook – to complaints about drivers slamming doors or arriving early.

There were also complaints about taxis refusing disabled passengers or charging extra to carry wheelchairs, as well as accusations of people driving up Shambles.

Parked across Shambles

The taxi rank at Duncombe Place, York. Photograph: Richard McDougall
One person alleged a driver parked across Shambles to go to Greggs and customers also contacted the council to claim taxis were parking in the ambulance area at York Hospital.

Tony Green, hackney driver and spokesman for the united trade group, said that “one complaint is one too many” and he wants all customers to have a “positive experience”.

He added that there are more than 1,000 drivers registered and working in York but up to 60 out of town drivers working in the city at any time, and said the proportion of complaints is much higher for vehicles from other areas.

He said:

  • We do support the council in taking any enforcement action for anything that’s done wrong. It’s so important that anyone who uses our service has a positive experience.

    We are actively encouraged to report out of town vehicles doing anything wrong.

Safety in cabs

Matt Boxall, head of public protection at the council, said: “We take safety in our taxis extremely seriously. Our enforcement work continues in co-operation with North Yorkshire Police and Licensing Officers from other authorities.

“We review every single complaint and take a proportionate response in line with our enforcement policy.”

He urged people to report any complaints to [email protected]