Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said that the resignation today of two members of the Taxi Advisory Council are a direct response to the government’s failure to support taxi drivers. He says they reflect a deep sense of frustration in the sector.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“Taxi drivers and their representatives have done everything they can to engage with government, to outline the challenges facing the sector and to present their proposals.
“These include, amongst other things, a call for a moratorium on the issuing of licences, an extension of existing vehicle licences, the suspension of NCT/SGS fees for a period, improved restart grants for taxis and that an independent survey of service demand be conducted. All have fallen on deaf ears.
“The resignations of Mick Barrett and Dave McGuinness from the Taxi Advisory Council today are in direct response to a lack of meaningful engagement and a lack of progress. It reflects a deep frustration within the sector and can be read as a criticism of government, the Minister, the Department and the NTA.
“Recently, before the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee, taxi drivers outlined their concern about the Taxi Advisory Council itself. Today’s resignation significantly reduces the ordinary taxi driver’s voice on that forum and serves to weaken it.
“It is clear that taxi drivers are very frustrated. They are understandably fearful for their future and for their sector. Today’s events should act as a wake-up call for Minister Eamon Ryan. Taxi drivers are resilient. They are ready, willing and able to work their way through the pandemic but they have to be listened to.
“Minister Ryan should meet with them directly as a matter of priority.”