Bus stop ban bad for trade

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Taxi driver Naseem Nazir thinks taxis should be allowed to park in bus stops if they are dropping off customers. (d15121112)
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Taxi driver Naseem Nazir thinks taxis should be allowed to park in bus stops if they are dropping off customers. (d15121112)

A TAXI firm owner is calling on Kirklees Council to change its policy of fining all drivers caught parking at bus stops.

Dewsbury Cars boss Naseem Nazir said taxis were a form of public transport and should be exempt from the ban.

Mr Nazir said: “Being a private hire firm, we’re in public service like the buses. I understand they’re recognised by the government, but why not taxis?

“When there are pensioners or mums with young kids I tell my drivers to go out and help with their bags, but if we can’t park near enough to where they want we’ve got a problem. For some customers to walk even five yards is a struggle.”

He said most customers were unhappy if a driver told them they could not make a drop-off where asked, especially if the meter then ticked over.

In May, Kirklees Council introduced an enforcement van kitted out with CCTV to catch drivers breaking parking rules.

The council said there had been a vast improvement in the way drivers parked as a result.

But Mr Nazir, 39, said it had added to his drivers’ woes with two from the Halifax Road firm fined in recent weeks.

“The van automatically takes a photo if there’s anyone in a bus stop and they get a fine, but sometimes there is nowhere to pick up apart from the bus stop,” he said. “One example is next to Val’s cafe where that’s the safest point because we’re out of the way.”

A council spokesman said using bus stops for pick-ups obstructed buses and other traffic, and made it unsafe for bus passengers who had to get off in the road as a result.

He said: “It should also be remembered that, in addition to the ranks provided, taxis are allowed to stop on single and double yellow lines and in car parks and pay and display areas when dropping off or picking up.”

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