Derry Taxi Driver Firms “Struggle to Meet Demand” – Derry Daily

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Derry TAXI companies “are struggling to keep up with demand,” a local taxi operator said.

The area of ​​northern Ireland has struggled to recover since Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced.

Eamonn O’Donnell of North West Taxi Proprietors said it was becoming increasingly difficult for local businesses to provide proper service.

Last week, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced new measures to help support the industry.

The goal is to address the current driver shortage after hundreds of people have left the industry.

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle on Thursday, Mr O’Donnell said the industry was already facing problems before the Covid-19 pandemic, but the virus has “exacerbated the problem”.

“We currently have around 8,555 licensed taxi people in the north and there are only around 5,000 or 6,000 working, which means we lost around 30% during Covid,” did he declare.

“We have had local taxi drivers who have died from Covid, older taxi drivers suffering from long Covid and we have a lot of people who, due to their older age profile during Covid, also have had to stop.

“We have seen a gradual decline in bookings, with people deciding not to go out and stay home and have pizza rather than going up town because they don’t know if they can come back.”

“The taxi industry is important for other sectors and it is important for the recovery of the city.

Infrastructure Minister Nicola Mallon launched a taxi action plan for industry last week

Mr O’Donnell said he wanted the industry to return to “providing high quality service that people are used to”, but that a bigger recruitment drive is needed.

He said a taxi driver academy in the northwest could help tackle the dwindling number of new taxi drivers arriving.

Sinn Féin adviser Sandra Duffy said the taxi industry has been under “great pressure for some time” and that there should be “more incentives for young drivers”.

She said it was vital that “we try to restore confidence in the nighttime economy”, but said “people just won’t go out if they don’t think they can get home”.

Derry Taxi Driver Companies ‘Struggle to Meet Demand’ was last modified: September 16, 2021 through cassoscoop

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