Thursday, June 01, 2006

GMB fights for mini-cab driver

THE GMB general union last week called for the same rules for mini cabs as for black cabs in London after a mini cab driver faces £1,000 in fines for helping disabled fares to reach their destinations safely, when that means stopping along a red route.
The union has called on Transport for London to review its ruling that bars London’s licensed private hire mini cab drivers from picking up and dropping off their fares in red routes even when driving disabled passengers, even though black cabs are allowed to stop in the red routes for picking up and dropping off fares.
The total ban costs London’s 40,000 licensed mini cab drivers thousands of pounds in fines every week. It disadvantages able bodied passengers who have to be dropped some times a long distance from their destination but is particular hard on disabled passengers who would benefit from being picked up and dropped off directly outside their desired location.
This appeal comes as GMB member Ariyibi Adeniran who lives in Hackney and has been a London mini cab driver for many years, faces almost £1,000 worth of fines and a visit from the bailiffs as he cannot afford to pay the outstanding fines many of which are the result of his helping disabled fares reach their destinations safely. Ed Blissett, GMB London region secretary said: “Some laws are just plan wrong and GMB London feels that this total ban may be a case in point. We are not looking to disrupt London’s traffic flow but simply to enable the capital’s mini cab drivers the same rights as London’s black cabs and to help the travelling public and especially the disabled to get to and from their destinations with as little difficulty as possible.”