New organisation created to represent Bolton taxi drivers
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 are closed on this article.