LEADING taxi drivers have spoke of the ‘difficulties’ that they face in the wake of urgent talks with council bosses over problems with vehicle defects.
Mohammed Ikhlaq, chairman of the East Staffordshire Private Hire and Taxi Association, talked about the challenges currently faced by the taxi trade just to keep businesses going.
He gave an insight into the industry after the Mail revealed that cabbies were set to meet with council bosses after concerns were raised after a recent safety operation uncovered several defects with a number of vehicles in Burton.
He said: “We, like many other trades, are finding it tough at the moment.
“The concerns raised by the council will be addressed and, like I have said before, we are more than willing to sit down with them and discuss any issues they may have and also highlight some problems that we might have also.”
Issues with signage and safety equipment and defects that included inadequate tread depth on tyres, faulty lights and mirrors were found during a safety operation involving East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire Police.
Mr Ikhlaq added: “I have to admit that having issues with tyres is just not good enough and this really needs to be something that is checked all the time by all drivers.
“However, some of the other issues are things that everyone could miss and are people really asking us to do massive car checks before we go on every single job, it is just not something that can be done.
“Rise in fees for licences have hit us hard but we are still a vital part of trade in the area and are doing our best to remain competitive, especially in the run up to Christmas.
“We would all like to reassure people that we are doing a very best to make sure that safety is excellent and we will always work to improve when we need to.”