Updated: Apr 10
A shortage of taxi drivers in Poulton-le-Fylde has left drinkers stranded and frustrated after a night out.
The findings were made as part of a Tri-annual Hackney Carriage Unmet Demand Survey, commissioned by Wyre Borough Council.
The town, which is known for its lively nightlife, has seen a decline in the number of cabbies willing to work in the area.
The council's licensing committee heard that there are not enough drivers to meet the demand, especially on weekends and during peak times. Some of the reasons cited for the shortage include the Covid-19 pandemic, which has reduced the number of passengers and increased the costs of running a taxi, as well as the competition from private hire firms and ride-hailing apps.
A survey commissioned by Wyre revealed that the demand for hackney taxis in Poulton is high during late hours when some drivers avoid working due to rowdy behaviour. The survey aimed to assess the need for increasing the number of cab license plates, which have been capped at 160 since 1974.
However, the report by LVSA (Licensed Vehicle Surveys and Assessment) concluded that issuing more plates would not address the problem of late-night service gaps. The council decided to maintain the current limit until the next review.
The report suggested that more incentives should be given to drivers who work during these times, rather than increasing the number of licences issued. It also highlighted the need for more support from marshals to deal with unruly passengers and ensure safety.
Another issue raised by the report was the lack of wheelchair accessible hackney carriage vehicles in Wyre, which affected the availability and accessibility of taxis for disabled customers. The report called for a 'change in attitude and operation' across the industry to address this problem and improve the service quality for all users.