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Cabbies divided over new Birmingham International Airport contract

CABBIES who use the ranks at Birmingham International Airport are divided by the terms of a new contract negotiated by the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association.

CABBIES who use the ranks at Birmingham International Airport are divided by the terms of a new contract negotiated by the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association.

Some of the drivers have been angered by the £540 sum they will have to pay to operate at the terminal and say that collecting fares will leave them out of pocket.

As part of the five year deal, drivers also face a hike in barrier fees - they will have to stump up £2.10 every time they enter the rank.

There are fears that the row could leave a shortage of taxis ready to pick up passengers.

However, the chairman of the BASTA, Irfaan Ahmen, has said that many of its members are fully behind the new contract.

“It used to be that only a couple of companies would tender for the airport contract, now we’re facing huge competition from lots of different firms and we have to be competitive.

“Imagine if we didn’t get the contract, it would cause some real problems for our drivers in the Solihull area.

“This is a contract with a private company and very different from the situation we have in Birmingham and Solihull town centre. It’s the choice of the individual drivers to decide if they want to use the ranks at the airport.

“A lot of our drivers are very keen to get involved in this new contract.”

But some cabbies remain unconvinced. Lee Denny, from Solihull Radio Taxis, said he could sympathise with the drivers who had objected to the fees.

“I can definitely see where they are coming from. If you have to pay these fees and you are only taking people to local hotels and the like, it is going to be very difficult to make a profit.”

 

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