Nottingham’s taxi drivers have announced the launch of a new association representing cabbies' interests in the area.
The Nottingham Black Cab Association (NBCA) has been formed as drivers argue they continue to struggle to be heard on key decisions effecting their trade. The new association points to frustrations ever since the change over from the old-style green coloured Hackney taxis to the new black and white designs appearing on Nottingham’s roads.
Nottingham City Council also introduced the new 2020 Taxi Strategy around this time to help modernise its aging fleet and help tackle air quality by having new environmentally friendly taxis.
The aim was to deliver substantial changes in both appearance and standard of vehicles being made available to the public. The climate emergency meant that the taxi trade at large had to move forward, and thus meant having to adapt to new changes.
However, the NBCA say that sadly many drivers since the consultation have returned their licence plates to the Council due to the financial burden being too much.
The NBCA say that the cost of new vehicles could range anywhere between £30,000 and £65,000 to meet the new 2020 Taxi Strategy.
The association go on to highlight increasing challenges to their businesses with the likes of Uber and other out of borough minicabs saturating work levels in the city centre.
The pandemic has impacted black cab drivers hard, many of whom continue to struggle to provide for their families with work levels unsustainably low. As a result of all these factors, cabbies in the area have announced the formation of the NBCA.
Azeem Hanif, a licensed taxi driver and spokesperson for the newly formed NBCA, said: “It is a great opportunity we have created today, many drivers are disillusioned by the current representation within the trade that is not forward thinking and does not represent the interests of many black cab drivers.
“It’s time that we develop our trade into the 21st Century. Our Black Cabs are not only the most efficient, but are COVID-19 compliant with fully enclosed partitions, have 2-meter social distance protocols and offer enhanced DBS checked local drivers from the Nottingham region.
“Issues of driver, rider and road safety are paramount for us. We need a strong voice to demand that our voices are heard by the regulatory authorities and the wider trade.
“We must also lead from the front and have strong leadership that is open and transparent to its members and to wider stake holders. I look forward to dialogue and change.”