Manchester

Rochdale taxi firm boss in 'race choice' U-turn

Car 2000 Image copyright Google
Image caption Stephen Campbell said the company will send the closest driver to the caller

The boss of a taxi firm has reversed his decision to allow customers to choose the race of their driver after 50 Asian cabbies walked out in protest.

Their strike was in response to Stephen Campbell, who runs Car 2000 in Heywood, Rochdale, saying he would accommodate requests for white drivers.

The unhappy Asian drivers gathered in Heywood on Friday night to protest.

Mr Campbell now says drivers closest to the customer will be allocated, and hopes this "puts everything to bed".

Grooming scandal

He told BBC Radio Manchester: "For a small minority of people, they're not going to get what they ask for. I just hope they're happy with what they do get."

On 22 October, he said his firm received up to 60 calls a week from customers asking for a white driver by using the euphemism "local".

"If they ring up and ask for an Asian driver, we will send them one. If they ring up and ask for a 'local' driver we will send them one," he said at the time.

"We also get people specifically ringing up by name for a driver, and we try and send them as well."

Car 2000 took over the now-defunct Eagle Taxis after the Rochdale grooming scandal.

Two of the latter's drivers were among nine men jailed in May 2012 for running the child sexual exploitation ring.

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