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Glasgow Councillor attends Scottish Private Hire Association meeting learning of problems faced

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

Image credit: SPHA

A Glasgow City Councillor attended a two-hour meeting arranged by the Scottish Private Hire Association (SPHA) to listen to issues facing the city's private hire drivers.

Labour Councillor Eunis Jassemi took part in the meeting with drivers and trade representatives where concerns over cost of living, rising business costs, private hire car age limits, overprovision of supply, vehicle standards, and various licensing policies were raised.

The meeting follows discussions between trade reps from the SPHA and licensing councillors which included Councillors Alex Wilson and Thomas Kerr.

Councillor Jassemi, who represents the city's Victoria Park Ward, said: "I want to thank the Scottish Private Hire Association for inviting me to take part in a discussion on issues facing the city's private hire drivers.

“We should never forget those drivers were heroes during the pandemic. Transporting NHS staff to work, driving the most vulnerable for shopping and more, they have gone above and beyond to serve our city.

“I took the opportunity to hear directly from drivers about the crisis they face today. I'm a new councillor, but I will always put the city of Glasgow first, including Glasgow's taxi drivers. We need a city policy that is fit for the 21st century and that's what I intend to deliver."

Eddie Grice, the SPHA's General Secretary, said: "Our members are giving us great feedback from the meeting. They are very happy to see Councillors taking the time to sit down to engage with them and listen to their concerns. It's a real breath of fresh air. On behalf of all drivers, I thank Councillor Jassemi for coming along to our meeting, and also thank Councillors Alex Wilson and Thomas Kerr for also delivering on the promise of open-door dialogue with the trade. We look forward to seeing how we can all work together to resolve the concerns drivers are facing.

"One thing was very clear from last night's meeting. Drivers are very anxious about the rising cost of living, the high cost of fuel and of doing business, and of ever increasing purchase prices of vehicles. They were very vocal and unanimous in demanding that Glasgow City Council must increase vehicle age limits to help ease the pressure and to help in the longer term goal of transitioning the fleet to carbon neutral. We need to see the abolishment of the lower limit of a car being less than five years old to be able to get licenced, and we need the retirement age of cars being increased from just seven years."

John Paul Duffy, the SPHA's West of Scotland Branch Chair, said: "Things are getting tougher for drivers. Costs are far higher than they used to be. We're still in recovery mode from the pandemic and now we face a cost of living crisis. We're facing vehicle shortages with climbing purchase prices. It's too much and drivers are worried. We need breathing space and amending the age limits can really help."


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