Black Cabbies in Manchester threaten Legal Action against the Council

Because of anti-competitive prices at Manchester Airport, black cab drivers are threatening legal action against the Council.

Leeds-based private hire taxi company, Arrow Cars has been given favoured treatment at the busy airport which curbs competitors, claim the Manchester Cab Committee.

The Manchester Cab Committee is made up of the Taxi Owners and Drivers Association, the GMB Union, taxi firms Mantax, Taxifone and the Airport Taxi Association.

The Manchester Cab Committee is battling to fully open up business to operate at the airport and has recruited taxi law specialist, Peter Eatherall at Howards Solicitors, based in Manchester.

According to the Manchester Cab Committee, the airport website and the kiosks at the three main terminals has booking facilities which favour Arrow Cars instead of black cabbies which are already finding it hard to make money due to area restrictions, the expensive of having black cab insurance and general costs of running the cabs.

Manchester Cab Committee Chairman, Sean Kenny said, “We have no problem with competition.

“We do take issue though when a private hire office opens next to the taxi rank and misleads customers by calling themselves ‘Taxi Private Hire’.

“In addition it has vehicles illegally ranking and what can be considered unbalanced promotion by Manchester Airport.”

Unless the council is prepared to address the concerns that the Committee has, Eatherall, a former taxi firm operator, said he force and modify the way Arrow Cars operate by applying for a judicial review of the operating licence which was granted to Arrow Cars.

“The Committee will argue that the way that Arrow Cars are allowed to operate is outside the law.
“There is significant case law on the points that we are raising that we believe support our case.

“Manchester City Council has not said it is willing to sit down with us, and in the absence of any negotiations then we have no option but to proceed down the legal route” Eatherall said.

Eatherall also added that, “The Council does not believe that there are any issues that need to be radically addressed, but many, many voices within the trade in Manchester believe that there are.”

A spokesperson at Manchester Airport said, “All forms of public transport are available to our passengers including private hire taxis, black cabs, buses, trains and we await the addition of Metrolink. We would not favour one over another as choice is something that our passengers continually request of us.”

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said, “Our licensing officers regularly monitor the activities of private hire firms based at the airport and we have no evidence to suggest that licensing laws are being broken.

“We have provided a response to Howards Solicitors, and have asked them to clarify which parts of our response they are unhappy with. We are waiting a response.”

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