7 Sep 2009

Auckland to get tough on unruly taxi drivers

8:12 pm on 7 September 2009

Auckland City Council is considering a demerit system to clean up taxi drivers who cause traffic chaos in central city streets.

The council's Transport Committee has given its initial approval to a scheme which could see those who double-park or over-stack the city's cab ranks banned.

Committee chair Ken Baguley says Auckland has more taxis per head of population than any other city in the world and some are not up to standard.

He says the crowding around taxi ranks is causing traffic hazards for other motorists.

Mr Baguley says the proposed scheme would see taxi operators charged $75 a year to use the council's two dozen ranks and repeat offenders who breach council rules being would be banned.

The Taxi Federation supports the move. The council will consult the taxi industry over the next five weeks, and the committee is expected to have a final vote on the proposal in November.

However, some taxi drivers say the demerit system is not the way to solve traffic problems in central Auckland.

One driver, Robin Chandra says there are not enough taxi ranks and cars often have no choice but to double park while waiting for a space.

The council says there are enough ranks to cope with demand.