Derry MLAs raise concerns about taxi drivers leaving industry due to low fares and lack of support

Taxi drivers in Derry are leaving the industry due to fares that have been consistently lower than in other cities, it’s been claimed.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 5:02 pm

Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said that more and more drivers are giving up taxiing to become delivery drivers because the money is better.

She said a review of fares should be conducted. Ms. Anderson was speaking during a debate on the falling number of taxi drivers in the industry.

The MLA also complained of a lack of government support, stating, ‘as far as I know, not one operator in Derry received a single penny from the COVID restrictions business support scheme from the Department for the Economy’.

Her constituency colleague Mark H. Durkan raised the issue of low fares.

“Fares are very low compared with those in other parts of the North, let alone with those on the Continent.

“Does she concur that those fares are set not by the Department per se but by the operators?” he asked.

Ms. Anderson replied: “Fares across the city of Derry are consistently low. Many drivers who work very long hours do not feel that they are getting a fair wage.

“That is why a review of fare structures is needed, and that is what I am calling for.

“It is no surprise that more and more drivers are leaving taxiing to get better wages working with, for example, local delivery services.

“Sensible, practical, bespoke support requires ministerial willpower to help drivers and operators.”