SOUTH Wales cab drivers went on protest saying they have been penalised by one of the country’s biggest councils.

Cabbies in Cardiff protested on June 27.

Unite the Union say following the development of Cardiff’s new transport hub, that they say reduced spaces for 103 cab permit holders, discussions with the city’s council led to the “promise” of a feeder rank on St Mary Street.

However, Unite say the council has recently informed drivers that when attending the new bus station, which opened on June 30, taxis will be fined if they are caught waiting to access the rank.

Unite also say the council stated that the promised feeder rank will now not be going ahead.

Apparently, taxi drivers were told they must keep driving around the city centre until a space becomes available, which will only cause increased pollution and traffic in the busy built-up area.

Unite regional officer Richard Jackson said: “Cardiff council’s behaviour is disgraceful and is a direct attack on our members’ livelihoods. It made promises to support the trade that were put in writing by the chief executive Paul Orders. Now those promises have been reneged on.”

Taxi drivers like Sanwar are not happyTaxi drivers like Sanwar are not happy (Image: Unite)

Branch secretary of Unite’s Cardiff Hackney Alliance, Sanwar Ahmed, said: “The council has deliberately setup a system focussed on penalising drivers rather than taking responsibility for the problems it has created.”

In response, a Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Saunders Road taxi rank is not a council rank and only those taxi drivers that pay Transport for Wales (TfW) a licensing fee are allowed to use it and pick up fares from this location.

“Saunders Road taxi rank has had its capacity reduced by TfW in order to put security measures in place to protect the public.

Watch the video below as Cardiff taxi driver's explain their frustrations

“So, despite this really being an issue between TfW and those affected taxi drivers who have paid TfW for the right to operate from this rank, the council has been listening, engaging and working with the taxi trade and TfW to see how we can assist.

“The council has recently supported TfW to put an extra 8 spaces for these affected taxis in the station car park on the southside of the train station, and the council has also opened up a further 4 spaces for taxis nearby on St Marys Street. These spaces more than make up for those lost on Saunders Road due to the security measures.

Saunders Road taxi rankSaunders Road taxi rank (Image: Google Maps)

“The council has not reneged on any agreement to establish a feeder rank for Saunders Road. We considered all options in detail – but the reality is that a feeder rank cannot work in the area, as it will cause disruption and safety issues on the highway. We have been absolutely clear to the trade about the position which reflects the need to facilitate the safe opening and operation of the new bus interchange.

“The council will, however, continue to engage with the taxi trade to see how else we can assist them in areas which are under the council’s control.”