Derby City Council admits losing Hackney cab petition

Hackney cabs
Image caption Hackney cabs can be hailed by passers-by but private hire taxis must be pre-booked

A Hackney cab drivers' petition calling for action against other taxi drivers they say illegally pick up their fares has been lost, a council admitted.

The Derby Hackney Union petition was handed into Derby City Council in April but the council said it had lost it through an "administrative error".

Union chairman Mohammed Saffaf said the city was "doing absolutely nothing about illegal plying for hire".

The council - which apologised - agreed to meet drivers to discuss the issue.

'Staff sickness'

Hackney cab drivers can pick up passengers without being pre-booked, while private hire drivers can only take fares that are booked in advance.

The members said the petition, which was signed by about half of its 300 members, calls for better enforcement of the rules.

Mr Saffaf said: "We have been talking to the council for years but they don't seem to be listening.

"They have a statutory duty to protect the public and it makes you wonder where that protection is.

"It is a public document and you can't just throw it in the bin. If they think they are going to get away with it, they need to think again."

Councillor Balbir Sandhu said: "We have since apologised to Mr Saffaf [for losing the petition] and invited him to resubmit the letter and petition."

Staff sickness and vacancies had reduced the amount of enforcement work by the council in the past few months, a council spokesman said.

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