Taxi drivers in the town of Farnborough, Hampshire have described the introduction of a new taxi firm as “a smack in the face”. Luton based transportation firm, First Class Cars, has been set up near Farnborough Airport. The company has expanded here in order to capitalise on the increased business created by the Farnborough Air Show and London Olympics.
Local drivers have claimed this move will hurt their own businesses and that they are being overlooked. A driver from Rushmoor Taxis, Robert Trowsdale said, “I know it is for business transportation, but why haven’t we got the local firms involved? First Class Cars are going to take the work there; I think it will have a negative effect. Farnborough Airport owner TAG has gone for First Class Cars; they haven’t given us the opportunity.”
“They may have all the S-Class Mercedes’, but why not give the opportunity to a local taxi firm? I think it is a bit of a smack in the face. It is an insult; it is a big insult to the local companies. TAG has overlooked everyone.”
Another independent taxi driver, Graeme Marshall commented, “It is a little bit worrying TAG has gone outside our borough. We have people in the borough that can do it. It is really out of our hands.”
Since First Class Cars is based in Luton they wouldn’t need a Rushmoor taxi license, so some cannot see how they will benefit the local council or the community. However if the firm continues to expand, more jobs can be created. During this expansion, the taxi firm will need to account for an increased amount of UK taxi insurance cover for each of their vehicles.
Operations manager for First Class Cars, Ian Oakman said “We will look to recruit some Farnborough people in the future. We decided what we will do is open it up with a couple of guys from up here (Luton), and get six to eight drivers by the end of the year. With the upcoming summer events we know that there will be increased demand from existing and new clients, and we want to be ready for the increased business.”