YEP Letters: December 13

Private Hire Driver Protest through Leeds City Centre...11th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Private Hire Driver Protest through Leeds City Centre...11th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters

City private hire drivers ‘slow drive’ protest

LEEDS Private Hire Drivers Organisation say they will stage further ‘slow drive’ protests in the run up to Christmas unless council chiefs listen to their concerns. Police and Leeds City Council have criticised an estimated 300 private hire drivers who took part in a four-hour ‘slow drive’ protest on Monday morning which brought parts of Leeds city centre to a halt and created significant disruption to bus services. Leeds Private Hire Drivers Organisation called for drivers to take part in the protest after claiming Leeds City Council has failed to act on a number of issues affecting drivers. The organisation said the council had not stopped issuing private hire drivers with fines for stopping at bus stops. It also claims there are not enough pick up points in Leeds city centre and it is difficult to avoid stopping at bus stops. The organisation is also calling on the council to allow private hire drivers to use bus lanes in a move they say would cut emissions reduce journey times and reduce costs to customers. It also wants drivers to be allowed to remove stickers from the front and back of their vehicles. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Adrian McCluskey

People choose to be private hire drivers. They are not forced. They have to abide by the same rules as the rest of us. If they want to use the bus lanes, get a hackney licence.

As for removing signs from taxis – I think not. They are there to assure the public they are actually getting a proper taxi.

I’m not convinced they are being targeted by vandals – why aren’t the more distinctive black and white taxis complaining of this?

Keith Winstanley

I hope Leeds City Council still refuses to talk to them and they start revoking their private hire licenses for causing problems on the roads.

Ian Wootton

As far as I am aware it is still an offence to block her majesty’s highways and to drive below the required speed limit so every one who participated should be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the English law. Bring out the snow ploughs and shove them off the road.

Paula Hanlon

You can’t make this stuff up. Private Hire drivers protesting because they can’t do something illegal and complaining that they get fined when they’re caught breaking the law and using bus lanes/stops. They’re also grumbling about being easily identified as taxis, but surely that’s the point; what kind of idiot would climb into an unmarked vehicle?

Granville Wilkinson

Nothing new with the mini-cab regulations. The rules have always been there. They are not taxis, they are private hire cars/minicabs. They have never been allowed to go in bus lanes, or stop at bus stops. The rules should stay as they are. If the council allow a change to these regulations. They will be wanting to be allowed to be flagged down by passengers at the side of the road. My advice to them all is... stick to the regulations like all other drivers have to!

Mark Sugden

Not sure how they want me to support them with action like this. To make people late for work or make school/work run more stressful isn’t going to make me support you. We all have bosses that don’t agree with us being stuck in traffic. Let’s stop taxis making their journey and see if they support us.

Cliff Owen

This is ridiculous, the council should get an injunction to stop this happening again. There must be better ways of protesting, all the private hire drivers are doing is alienating the general public, who do they think they are?

Philip Sykes

Prosecute them for obstructing the highway. Their demands are unreasonable and they know what is required by the local authority before they apply for their licences.

Daniel Willcock

Transport around Leeds is a joke, another area that the council are failing their taxpayers. Despite living 50 minutes walk from the city centre, I now walk most of the time. Still get to breathe in all the emissions that the council have failed to cut.

Paul Clubley

They are protesting because they are been asked to follow the rules of the road, just like everyone else.

Adam Badat

The slow drive protest was the last resort as the council did not want to sit down and talk to us. Bus lanes – why can’t private hire use them? Like everything else if there is cost am sure they wouldn’t mind paying.

Another thing regarding bus stop fines where customers are being dropped and picked up in centre of Leeds is purely down to all major pick up drop off areas in Leeds are bus stops.

Boar Lane, Albion Street, Eastgate, which are all popular areas have no pick up drop off points for private hire.

Coming on to the cars being stickered up so much that it has become an easy target for kids. Incidents are on the rise with police cut backs, can anyone suggest how we can combat this issue?

And now with technology a customer knows the make model registration of the car which is picking them up.

The drivers did not want a slow drive protest but when the council is not willing to listen to you, you are left with no option.

Don’t destroy our market

Mike Harwood, by email

My Christmasy thought to the council in Leeds.

You have kindly published several letters from me in recent years in support of Leeds (Kirkgate) Market.

It is Christmas 2017 now and the market has been with us, so many sorts and colours of us, honourably serving its bustling purpose, since (the indoor market) 1857 – over a century and a half; a longer appearance on stage than, so far as I am aware, any current member of Leeds Labour Party (who, for the time being, through the council, are the market’s masters).

I walked through the market today. It is alive, real and beautiful and true, with its Christmas, multi-coloured throng, Moroccan boureks and English chips, green cabbage and red pepper – and it is ours! And cheap ! And yet, as far as I can tell (and many, many agree), over the last few years we have been witnessing its slow destruction.

Anyone who loves the market will know what I mean. I ask to what purpose? To whose purpose? I ask the Labour Party; the council its masters.

They do not have to be responsible for the market’s black days.

We need our market. We do not need the Hammersons with its arcades of £3,000 rings and a £21bn shopping empire.

We, that is the vast majority of us, do need our market. It is Christmas.

Has Christmas never made a difference? Please, Labour Party, defend the market; do not destroy it.

Make a difference at Christmas

Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive, Action for M.E.

Many people with the chronic, neurological condition ME tell us they feel very lonely and isolated at this time of year, particularly those who live alone with no family or friends to share the festivities with.

A visit, phone call or simply a thoughtful card from a friend could make a positive difference – so if you know someone with ME, let them know you are thinking of them this festive season.

If you have ME and you need information and support, call us on 0117 927 9551 (we’re here until 4pm on December 22, and reopen on January 3), or join one of our friendly online forums, open 24/7.

You can also read advice from Rose, who has ME, in her article on coping with Christmas alone at

What have Tories done for pensioners?

L Schofield, Leeds 19

I hope all pensioners will remember that it was a 
Labour government which gave them winter fuel allowances, free bus passes, pension credits and free TV licences!

What have the Tories ever done for pensioners?