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Minister's response to taxi drivers' action

21 December 2015

The Minister for Transport and Technical Services, Deputy Eddie Noel, has made the following statement about the action taken by rank taxi drivers on Monday 21 December 2015:

“The most important priority for us and for the taxi industry is the travelling public. As such, I would ask drivers to provide their customers with notice prior to taking any action which disrupts transport – particularly over the festive period.

I would like to extend an invitation to drivers and their representatives to meet with me and with the Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, to discuss any outstanding issues.

Over recent months we have had positive and productive discussions with the Jersey Taxi Drivers Association and representatives of cab drivers and companies and have found common ground on the vast majority of the reforms to the industry, including clarification on accessibility for customers with wheelchairs. This means that all vehicles will need to be able to accommodate a folded wheelchair – not necessarily provide a ‘ride in’ service for customers.

We value these talks and will continue to work closely with industry representatives to reach a consensus on the issues raised to ensure that changes are implemented in a measured way which will provide the best possible future service for the whole community.

Public clarity on service

Our reforms aim to give the public clarity on tariffs, the ability to recognise vehicles instantly, have a good service at peak times and be able to use the service whatever their physical needs.

The reforms that we are making follow a long period of wide-ranging public consultation. These changes are designed to best serve the travelling public in this island and to ensure that the taxi industry provides a safe and convenient service.

To make sure that this is the case we need to change the way that we regulate the industry. I would like to restate that we are not seeking the instant deregulation sought by the Channel Islands Competition Regulatory Authority (CICRA) but rather shifting the emphasis from the number of vehicles we regulate to the quality of the service provided. This switch needs to happen but the way in which these changes will be made remains open for discussion.

Finally, I would reiterate my request that drivers continue to consider the needs of their customers, before taking any further action without warning. If, for instance, this was industrial action by a unionised workforce rather than self-employed individuals, then the law would require that seven days’ notice be given.

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