City business owner blasts Cardiff’s cabbies

July 28, 2011 7 Comments »
City business owner blasts Cardiff’s cabbies

Tim Corrigan has called for Cardiff council to improve the standard of the city's cabs

A leading city businessman has blasted the capital’s nighttime taxis, describing them as “rude, lawless, dirty and embarrassing to Cardiff”.

Tim Corrigan, operations manager at a company which runs six popular city centre nightspots, last night called on the council to lift standards.

Taxi trade representatives, however, claimed passengers were often to blame for messy cabs and insisted cabbies do treat their customers with respect.

Mr Corrigan’s firm, The Chameleon Group, owns Mocka Lounge on Mill Lane, The North Star on North Road and The Vulcan Lounge in Cathays, as well as St Mary Street nightclub Crystal Boutique.

It has also recently opened two new restaurants: The Potted Pig on the High Street and The Meating Place on St Mary Street.

Mr Corrigan, who first made his feelings known on Twitter, yesterday told the Echo: “I just think they should be monitored properly.

“We have a lot of international visitors to the city and there should be a lot more pride in our taxi service.

“At night they pick and choose who they pick up, If they don’t think they are going to make enough money they won’t pick you up.”

The former Soda Bar owner said private hire taxis, such as Premier, Capitol Cabs and Dragon Taxis, were “clean and professional”, but the standard of hail-and-ride cabs dropped after dark.

“There is a distinct lack of English, they sometimes don’t know where they are going and they try and do deals for cash,” Mr Corrigan said.

“You go to any other major city in the world and you will find taxi drivers are professional, clean and know where they are going.”

Cardiff Hackney Carriage Association chairman Mathab Khan hit back, saying: “There are drivers who cherry pick (fares), but what he says about the condition of cabs is ridiculous. Does he want a limousine?

“We have got people in Cardiff who actually think taxis are a restaurant – they buy fast food and then eat it in our taxis. If we tell them to stop they get angry and violent.

“Our vehicles start off clean inside and out, but the passengers come in with their mud, food or dog mess – it’s the punters that use the cabs at night that should be educated.”

Abdi Ahmed, of the Union of Taxi Drivers, said: “In defence of the council they are doing a lot of routine checks of drivers to make sure they are safe and clean.

“We are also working with the council and trying to root our those drivers who are cherry pricking fares, which I completely disagree with.”

Councillor Ed Bridges, chairman of the public protection committee, said a taxi drivers’ code of conduct had been agreed and talks to put it on display at ranks or inside cabs were continuing.

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  1. Ian July 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I'm sorry, but if you are providing a taxi service, you should probably be prepared for peole with muddy feet to get in every now and then.

    However, the cherry picking cabbies are an outrage – I live at the bottom end of Cathedral Road so I know – I can never get a taxi home from town on a Friday or Saturday

  2. Rant Lady July 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    On the whole i agree with what has been said, but not all day time cabbies from the main stream companies are as good as they state. i was once picked up from my house by a dragon taxi cab (one of the large vans) that had all its lights removed from inside of the vehicle and where then stuffed with either newspapers or carrier bags then duct taped "closed" as i was travelling to hospital with a broken leg and having to clamber inside after requesting a car it did not seem to be the safest vehicle to travel in.
    The Cabs "cherry picking" fares is absolutly ridicolus. There needs to be a stirict method of only allowing on duty cabbies to pick up on friday and saturday night i have been told my taxi operators they have no cars in the area i am in yet i will look and see at leasret three cabs with ther logos on the side so the only assumption is thet are working off duty yet they are still workin, i thought this was illegal.

  3. @markhem6 July 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I agree. I live in Century Wharf and its almost impossible to get a taxi from town. Even for my girlfriend when she's alone! Disgusting. Its not far but its not a very pleasant walk, especially after dark.

  4. Vanner July 28, 2011 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Agreed with the cherry picking. Some of the taxis i've been in are a disgrace, and it's not just from passengers that day.

    • taxi August 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      The taxi drivers have to earn living aswell they dont do it for charity. During the week theres hardly any work so they have to make up for it on a weekend to average their earnings. They have to cherry pick in order to earn a living. And i dont blame them cos some of the filthy dirty scum they have to pick up want to be sick in the car eat in the car sleep in the car probably shit and shave in the car. Sometimes they think they own you not that they have hired a cab. Its easy to blame everybody else for your own short sightedness. How about trains,coaches and aeroplanes they charge extra on weekends and during peak season. The principal is the same.Sometimes when you refuse to pick up the passengers they hurl abuse at you. Talk about politeness. EX TAXIDRIVER

      • Anon August 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm - Reply

        Twat it's people like you who give cabs a bad name. A taxi licence is to offer a service just like a bus . They can't go past people withoutvstopping. If you dontbwant tobwork to the spirit of a public cab go and do something else

      • Cardiff Chap August 10, 2011 at 1:24 am - Reply

        You're there to provide a service.Sadly many taxi drivers are unaware of that fact and councilors aren't helping at all.I would get rid of all taxis.Private Hire Vehicles do a much better job and don't mindlessly block the station day after day.

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