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Watford MP champions ridehail giants Bolt to work with local taxi drivers

Updated: Feb 26

The MP for Watford encouraged ride-hail giants Bolt to work with Hackney Carriage taxis in the area to service the night-time economy.

In a recent session at the House of Commons, Dean Russell, the Conservative MP for Watford, voiced concerns over the challenges faced by local taxi drivers, particularly following the closure of the Pryzm nightclub in January. The nightclub's shutdown has been described as a significant setback for Watford's taxi trade, affecting the livelihoods of many.

Russell highlighted discussions with the Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association (WHCDA) from last year, questioning how ride-hailing services like Bolt could integrate local black cab drivers into their schemes. This move, he argued, would significantly bolster Watford's night-time economy.

Responding, Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the House, commended Russell for spotlighting the importance of a vibrant night-time economy to taxi drivers, and vice versa. She suggested Russell seek a debate on the matter, allowing for a more detailed discussion with the Minister. Mordaunt also noted the upcoming Transport questions on 21 March as an opportunity for further dialogue.

Russell MP said: “I met the Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association last year to discuss the challenges faced by our brilliant taxi drivers. The closure of Watford’s Pryzm nightclub in January is a devastating blow to the local taxi trade.

“How can I encourage ride-hailing companies such as Bolt to consider including drivers from the Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association on their black cab scheme, which would contribute greatly to the local night-time economy?”

Mordaunt MP replied: “I thank my hon. Friend for raising awareness and for demonstrating that a thriving night-time economy is vital for local taxi drivers, and the reverse is also true. I encourage him to seek a debate in which the Minister can hear his views; he knows how to apply for that. Our taxi drivers play an essential role in our communities, and he will know that the next Transport questions is on 21 March.”


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