The number of complaints made about taxis has increased, only months after drivers were accused of refusing to serve students.
Last week it was also revealed that five Hackney cab drivers have had their licences revoked after choosing not to take customers on shorter journeys.
As it stands, taxi drivers are only allowed to refuse a fare if the potential passenger is drunk or abusive, or if the fare ends outside the boundary of Cardiff. This makes the refusal of any passengers that do not meet these criteria illegal.
According to Cardiff Council, ‘mystery shoppers’ will continue to test taxi services in order to ensure that bad practices do not continue. South Wales Police and other authorities are also working to provide potential taxi customers with essential information before travelling, including the right to demand that journeys be measured on the meter.
The news follows a police campaign that encouraged people in Cardiff to report the misconduct of taxi drivers, after a tide of complaints were initially made during the Rugby World Cup last year.
With the sports event coinciding with the start of freshers’ week for Cardiff Uni, this meant that many students were refused journeys home, with drivers allegedly choosing to take on longer and thus more profitable demands.
This was particularly concerning given the three sexual assaults that took place in Cardiff city centre at this time, prompting a spokesperson for the Cardiff Hackney Cabs Association to appeal to drivers not to ignore students.
South Wales Police deemed the actions of certain taxi drivers during the Rugby World Cup as ‘unacceptable’, while the negligence of particular individuals also compromised the Student’s Union’s ‘Safe Taxi’ scheme.
The scheme was improved in response to the series of sexual assaults in Fresher’s Week, and allowed students to get a taxi home with the fare being charged to the Student’s Union, which the student would pay back on a later date.
This news is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding Cardiff taxi drivers, who have made headlines regularly in recent times, often for the wrong reasons.
Students have also reported being unable to book taxis at times of peak demand due to large amounts of reservations, and there have also been cases of overcharging when drivers refuse to put meters on.