DISGRUNTLED cabbies left a Town Hall meeting telling ruling Tories “you don’t know what you’re talking about”.
Packing the public seats, they listened as the executive voted to lift restrictions on the number of black cabs allowed to operate in the city.
Tory deputy leader Stephen Mosley (Handbridge & St Mary’s) emphasised: “This is not allowing a free for all.”
Mike Woodham, on the ranks for 14 years, told councillors that with the cost of financing his cab, he needed income of £800 a month before starting to make a penny. He said delimiting the number of cabs allowed in the city would dilute the amount of work available to cab drivers at a time when it was already falling.
The city’s 123,500 population was already served by a total of 650 cabs and private hire vehicles which worked out at one taxi for every 190 people, Mr Woodham pointed out.
“The more taxis we have the less work there will be for each taxi,” he insisted.
Chairman of the city’s licensing board, Cllr John Ebo (Con, Newton Brook) said a survey of unmet demand was not required if restrictions on numbers were to be lifted. He claimed that 72% of local authorities in the country had derestricted.