Taxi drivers’ livelihoods are under threat because of the lack of gritting on neighbourhood streets, according to firms in East Lancashire.
Mohammed Younis of Town Taxi’s in Blackburn, said his 15 drivers were feeling the pinch because they cannot reach side streets not yet cleared of snow and ice. He said: ‘It’s a very, very bad situation for taxi drivers because we can’t get to the side streets and that’s where everyone wants to get to or be dropped off at. We desperately want the council to start clearing the snow and ice from side streets, we’ll even help them to do it if they like! All my drivers have families and bills to pay, but because this has been going on for so long, they’ve hardly been to the shops over Christmas and New Year. We hope that the thaw comes as soon as possible.’
Magid Rizwan, manager of Whittakers Private Hire in Burnley said it was a case of ‘having to cope.’ He said: ‘We have been struggling with the very icy side streets, and where possible asking people to meet us at the end of the road. The thing is though, that some of these residential streets are main ways through to a lot of places.’
A spokesman for Rapid Taxis in Darwen, said two of his drivers had crashed their cars after skidding on ice. He said: ‘Because of the accidents, other drivers are not willing to take risks. They won’t go down side streets and are asking people to walk to main roads to be collected, which not everyone can or is willing to do. It all means a loss of business to us, so the council really need to up the gritting on residential streets.’
Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire suggests that during such icy weather conditions you should only venture outdoors when really necessary. For a lot of businesses such weather conditions will have made business slow but it will hopefully pick up once the ice has cleared.