Government Ministers will not push railway stations to refund or reduce taxi driver rank permits

Government Ministers will not push railway stations to refund taxi drivers who purchased taxi permits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the drastic fall in numbers travelling, some taxi drivers have been pushed to renew station rank permits or risk losing the opportunity to work from the stations in the future.

East Midlands Railway (EMR) were recently criticised for continuing to charge rank permit fees. Drivers currently pay an annual fee of £618 to EMR for access to their railway ranks, but with the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll on the industry and on travel as a whole, drivers had asked for the annual fee to be frozen.

Tan Dhasi, Labour MP for Slough and Shadow Transport Minister, asked the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, whether he had plans to recommend to railway station taxi permit providers that refunds and reductions be issued to those who purchased 2020 taxi permits for use at those stations.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Department for Transport (DfT) Minister of State, said: “The Secretary of State has no plans to recommend to railway station taxi permit providers that they offer refunds or reductions for those who purchased taxi permits in 2020.”

In a further written question submitted by the Shadow Transport Minister, Heaton-Harris MP, added: “The Government is not responsible for refunds or price reductions for taxi permits issued at railway stations. It is the Train Operating Companies and Network Rail that manage and issue permits.”

The DfT also confirmed they have not made an assessment of the economic effect on taxi and private hire vehicles of reduced commuting.

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