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Labour MSP highlights ‘failed support’ given to Glasgow taxi drivers forcing ‘unmanageable debt’

Image credit: Ross Campbell

A leading Labour MSP questioned the Scottish Government’s ability to put passengers first in the move to Net Zero transport, highlighting the ‘failed support’ given to taxi drivers in Glasgow forcing ‘many out of business or into unmanageable debt’.

There remains ongoing concerns from Glasgow’s taxi drivers that their fleet could be DECIMATED by around 1,000 black cabs should the Government and city council take no action.

Unite Union Glasgow Cab Section expressed worry that they could see around 1,000 iconic taxi vehicles removed from the streets for being non-compliant with new Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) rules coming in June 2023.

As of February 2022, of the 1,420 taxis licensed by Glasgow City Council, around 1,000 did not meet new emissions criteria set for June 2023.

Colin Smyth, Labour MSP for South Scotland, said during a debate on Net Zero: “What frustrates me is that, nearly four years after the Parliament passed the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, the Government is still dragging its heels on giving councils the powers secured in that act and, more importantly, the resources that they need to deliver publicly owned local bus services in order to start to put passengers, not profits, first.

“If we want to see evidence of this Government’s lack of commitment to a just transition, we need only look at the way in which it and Glasgow City Council treated Glasgow’s taxi drivers when introducing the low-emission zone.

“They have failed to support drivers adequately to make that transition, which will force many out of business or into unmanageable debt.”


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