Taxi drivers criticise council’s new plans for taxi safety regulations

by | Oct 31, 2023

Image: Taxi stock image

A decline in taxi-related sexual crimes leaves Rotherham taxi drivers criticising council’s proposed plans to tighten safety regulations.

Rotherham private-hire vehicle drivers say council’s proposal to tighten licensing regulations will affect profits and wages.

Dani Goldsmith, a taxi driver in Rotherham, said: “Drivers are self employed and all the costs add up and literally take food out of your mouth as you are having to cover overhead [costs] before making any profit.

“Rotherham Council have too many restrictions to make trade viable and have a wage that can support your family.”

Rotherham Borough Council will present the policy to cabinet in December, as efforts to improve passenger safety continue after the town’s child sexual exploitation scandal was brought to attention years ago. 

However, some taxi drivers in Rotherham feel the proposal is unfair on law-abiding drivers who will also be impacted by the changes.

Taxi drivers also point out that taxi-related sexual crimes have decreased over the years since the policy was first introduced in 2015, and that there is no reason to make it even stricter.

The number of sexual offences committed by taxi drivers have been on the decline since 2014, as the graph below shows:

Recorded sexual offences committed by taxi drivers between 2014-2019

Mr Goldsmith added: “The trade needs to be profitable for drivers and the council needs to understand drivers’ needs and concerns.”