New organisation created to represent Bolton taxi drivers

The Bolton News: Nick Astley, Linda Duckworth and Asif Vali Nick Astley, Linda Duckworth and Asif Vali

A NEW organisation representing Bolton taxi drivers has pledged to help make the town centre a safer place.

The Bolton Private Hire Operators Association represents about 1,000 drivers across Bolton — about 80 per cent of cabbies in the area — and encompasses private hire and hackney carriage associations.

It is headed by chairman Asif Vali, who is also the owner of Rapid Private Hire, and Nick Astley, vice chairman and owner of Metro Cars.

Mr Vali says he aims to help drive up standards and has several ideas which he hopes to introduce, including a code of conduct for drivers, and a hotline set-up in conjunction with police to ensure that 18-25 year olds can get home after a night out if they are stranded. The launch of the group comes after Bolton Council licensing bosses approved new guidelines to ensure taxi drivers are ‘fit and proper’ before they get behind the wheel.

Mr Vali told the launch meeting of the group, which was held at the 3D Centre in Bella Street on Tuesday, that their top priority is safety ahead of the festive season, adding that he welcomed the council’s new guidelines. He said: “We want to get the safety message across. We are good people who work unsociable hours, we have good vehicles and we want to help brighten up the town.

“We want the town centre to be a vibrant place to be and we don’t want anyone to have a bad experience this Christmas.”

He added: “Over the last five months there have been some bad incidents, but we want to discuss these issues and see how we can improve our services and our trade.”

Linda Duckworth, head of regulatory services at Bolton Council, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with this new organisation to ensure that we can make improvements to the town centre particularly, and particularly in relation to safety issues.”

Mr Vali urged those using taxis over the festive period to ensure they pre-book and that they have enough money to get home.

Comments (4)

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7:59pm Thu 5 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Are they actually going to make the private hire drivers keep to the law of the roads - especially at Trinity Street train station?

Double parking, parking up on the indie lane, suddenly stopping on the inside lane etc etc etc all whilst there are parking spaces in the layby!!!

hey are putting their customers lives at risk, other drivers lives at risk, cyclists at risk and their on lives at risk and most importantly they ARE BREAKING THE LAW!!!

I somehow doubt that anything will change.
Are they actually going to make the private hire drivers keep to the law of the roads - especially at Trinity Street train station? Double parking, parking up on the indie lane, suddenly stopping on the inside lane etc etc etc all whilst there are parking spaces in the layby!!! hey are putting their customers lives at risk, other drivers lives at risk, cyclists at risk and their on lives at risk and most importantly they ARE BREAKING THE LAW!!! I somehow doubt that anything will change. BWFC71

11:29pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Taxi Tom says...

So the first comment insults the private hire drivers , no well done or what help do they need, it's simply have a go time at the private hire trade in Bolton. Salford private hire association have 550 members and we have a an association that works with operators that try to enhance the service they give residents 24 hours day,7days a week 363 days a year in all weather's
As chair of the city of Salford private hire association I welcome this new association and there commitment to enhance the service they give the residents of Bolton and hope they will join Manchester and Salford private hire associations in forming a Greater Manchester private hire association to deal with issues in common ie a voice within Transport for Greater Manchester. If anyone doubts the words I preach then one Salford private hire operator Mainline all the 7s has just been mentioned in Parliament for being the first private hire operator in the UK to launch dementia aware training for all its 400 private hire drivers. For more news on what associations can achieve visit www.gmpha.co.uk
So the first comment insults the private hire drivers , no well done or what help do they need, it's simply have a go time at the private hire trade in Bolton. Salford private hire association have 550 members and we have a an association that works with operators that try to enhance the service they give residents 24 hours day,7days a week 363 days a year in all weather's As chair of the city of Salford private hire association I welcome this new association and there commitment to enhance the service they give the residents of Bolton and hope they will join Manchester and Salford private hire associations in forming a Greater Manchester private hire association to deal with issues in common ie a voice within Transport for Greater Manchester. If anyone doubts the words I preach then one Salford private hire operator Mainline all the 7s has just been mentioned in Parliament for being the first private hire operator in the UK to launch dementia aware training for all its 400 private hire drivers. For more news on what associations can achieve visit www.gmpha.co.uk Taxi Tom

1:51am Fri 6 Dec 13

Taxi Tom says...

Facts as I know them. The job of enforcement lies with the licensing officers of Bolton council, the cost of that enforcement is paid for up front by Bolton taxi and private hire vehicle owners. So the taxi and private hire trade pay the council to be policed, if someone knows differently kindly let me know.
Perhaps I've made a mistake to give an opinion on your first comment, but every time some positive remarks are made in the media and the new association is positive news, we have a few people who wish to be negative in the media, obviously you feel you have reason to complain and you have the right to seek an answer from the council, but at the grand old age of 60 I have learnt to stand back and look at the full picture before moving forward with a plan to get a solution.
The DDA Equality act more or less means you can't treat passenger A any different from passenger B, so councils can no longer consider just putting taxi ranks at train stations and hope all passengers can get into a Hackney cab. Salford council have now proposed what I call the A10planning policy , which means that such places as new transport interchanges and hospitals etc will consider implementing lay byes for private hire vehicles, taxis and the family motorists to pick up and drop off passengers.
I would say look at the problem then find a solution and consider reading one particular court case against the adjudicator, private hire drivers are not formula one drivers, (some will say they are ) they must be given time for passengers to alight the vehicle and most of all they must be given time for the passengers to turn up, that one court case is a must read for all private hire and taxi drivers oh I nearly forgot all adjudicators.
Facts as I know them. The job of enforcement lies with the licensing officers of Bolton council, the cost of that enforcement is paid for up front by Bolton taxi and private hire vehicle owners. So the taxi and private hire trade pay the council to be policed, if someone knows differently kindly let me know. Perhaps I've made a mistake to give an opinion on your first comment, but every time some positive remarks are made in the media and the new association is positive news, we have a few people who wish to be negative in the media, obviously you feel you have reason to complain and you have the right to seek an answer from the council, but at the grand old age of 60 I have learnt to stand back and look at the full picture before moving forward with a plan to get a solution. The DDA Equality act more or less means you can't treat passenger A any different from passenger B, so councils can no longer consider just putting taxi ranks at train stations and hope all passengers can get into a Hackney cab. Salford council have now proposed what I call the A10planning policy , which means that such places as new transport interchanges and hospitals etc will consider implementing lay byes for private hire vehicles, taxis and the family motorists to pick up and drop off passengers. I would say look at the problem then find a solution and consider reading one particular court case against the adjudicator, private hire drivers are not formula one drivers, (some will say they are ) they must be given time for passengers to alight the vehicle and most of all they must be given time for the passengers to turn up, that one court case is a must read for all private hire and taxi drivers oh I nearly forgot all adjudicators. Taxi Tom

8:43am Fri 6 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

If you know Bolton then you will also know that there are laybys where the private hire can go tinto to park up and wait for their customer rather than illegally blocking the inside lane and the cycle lane! But as I got told whilst photographing the illegality of these private hires they have been told by their boss to block the lane and pick up their passengers whilst blocking a major road through Bolton as pasengers do not want to walk less than 3 to 5 meters to get into a private hire!!!

The new bus station neither has a taxi rank, nor a layby for private hires and normal cars and nor a carpark - so that blows your theory out of the water!!!

What about all the private hires (again the majority are Metro) breaking road laws such as wrong lanes and forcing trffic to let them in when they know the road layout - not just a one-off but happens all the time (junction of Manchester Road/TrinityStreet/B
radshawgate where heading to Bolton the inside lane is for turning onto Trinity Street whilst teh outside lane is for straight ahead and turning right - but the majority (if not all) private hire use the inside lane for straight ahead.

Then look at Manchester....
Junction of Quay Street/PeterStreet/d
eansgate - triffic going down Peter Street - outside lane for turning right, inside lane for straight ahead and turning left and how many private hires do I see using teh outside lane for turning left??? A hell of a lot all day most days Then along Deansagte (from Deansgate Station towards Victoria Station) for the majority the inside lane at junctions is for turn left only but how many private hires do I see go down that lane and then force their way into the correct lane whilst in the middle of the junctions!


So you uphold these blatant law breaking maneouvres?
If you know Bolton then you will also know that there are laybys where the private hire can go tinto to park up and wait for their customer rather than illegally blocking the inside lane and the cycle lane! But as I got told whilst photographing the illegality of these private hires they have been told by their boss to block the lane and pick up their passengers whilst blocking a major road through Bolton as pasengers do not want to walk less than 3 to 5 meters to get into a private hire!!! The new bus station neither has a taxi rank, nor a layby for private hires and normal cars and nor a carpark - so that blows your theory out of the water!!! What about all the private hires (again the majority are Metro) breaking road laws such as wrong lanes and forcing trffic to let them in when they know the road layout - not just a one-off but happens all the time (junction of Manchester Road/TrinityStreet/B radshawgate where heading to Bolton the inside lane is for turning onto Trinity Street whilst teh outside lane is for straight ahead and turning right - but the majority (if not all) private hire use the inside lane for straight ahead. Then look at Manchester.... Junction of Quay Street/PeterStreet/d eansgate - triffic going down Peter Street - outside lane for turning right, inside lane for straight ahead and turning left and how many private hires do I see using teh outside lane for turning left??? A hell of a lot all day most days Then along Deansagte (from Deansgate Station towards Victoria Station) for the majority the inside lane at junctions is for turn left only but how many private hires do I see go down that lane and then force their way into the correct lane whilst in the middle of the junctions! So you uphold these blatant law breaking maneouvres? The Righteous One

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