'Enough is enough': Leeds faces Saturday night taxi driver strike ahead of make-or-break city council meeting

Leeds taxi drivers are threatening further strike action on Saturday ahead of Wednesday's make-or-break city council meeting.

By Alex Grant
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 2:59 pm

Drivers are protesting Leeds City Council' s Suitability and Convictions Policy, which has been in place since February 2020.

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Leeds Private Hire Drivers Organisation (LPHDO) took strike action last Monday (January 17).

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Introduced in 2020 the council's Suitability and Convictions policy could see drivers lose their licences over minor offences. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Speaking to the YEP, LPHDO Vice Chairman Zahir Mahmood explained that strike action for Saturday (January 29) was not yet set.

"We can't give an update on the strike yet as it hasn't been properly finalised but we are thinking along the lines of a Saturday night protest." Zahir said.

Wednesday will see drivers sit down with Leeds City Council members as part of their quarterly meeting and Zahir hopes that further strike action can be avoided.

"Let's see what happens at that meeting and hopefully sense will prevail." he said. "We might not even have to do the strike."

Drivers have been left feeling "taken for granted" and believe they are being held to unfair standards.

Introduced in 2020 the council's Suitability and Convictions policy could see drivers lose their licences over minor offences.

This includes facing suspension without follow up should a member of the public issue a complaint.

"The council have been saying it's our way or the highway and we have been driving on that highway but enough is enough." Zahir explained.

"We've got to come off the highway at some point and now is the best time to come off because this new Suitability and Convictions policy is not fit for purpose."

In a statement provided to the YEP, Coun Debra Coupar, deputy leader of Leeds City Council said:

“We have been made aware of the proposed strike action on Saturday, January 29 by the Taxi and Private Hire trade organisations and would like to make anyone who may be impacted by the potential disruption aware of the situation.

“We would ask the Taxi and Private Hire trade organisations to reconsider their planned action, and continue their dialogue with us over the proposed accumulation of minor motoring convictions criterion of the suitability policy in order to achieve a positive outcome for all parties.”

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