Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today called on Minister Ryan to scrap the Taxi Advisory Committee as it is failing to reflect the challenges on the ground and not serving the interests of ordinary taxi drivers.
The Meath East TD said:
“The Taxi Advisory Committee was established under the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, with an aim of providing the Minister for Transport and the NTA with advice relating to the taxi sector.
“However, it has now become clear the Committee is not reflecting the challenges on the ground and it is not serving the interests of taxi drivers.
“It has lost the confidence of drivers and needs to be scrapped and replaced with a forum that actually works and is representative.
“Taxi drivers have been shouting from the rooftops for the need to extend the ten-year rule, to help stop the haemorrhaging of drivers from the sector.
“Since 2019, we have lost over 2,000 licenced drivers, which is contributing to the current taxi shortage.
“The ten-year rule is pushing drivers out of the sector, but the NTA and the Minister were vehemently opposed to extending the ten-year rule up until recent days.
“This dramatic u-turn is welcome but the whole episode serves as clear evidence that they were totally uninformed about the massive impact this rule was having on ordinary drivers.
“While the NTA now eventually seems to be seeing the light on the ten-year rule, it is clear that the taxi industry had no seat at the decision-making table on this issue and still has no seat at the table to discuss other licensing and regulatory challenges facing the sector.
“The Taxi Advisory Committee is failing to meet its legislative function and needs to be scrapped and replaced with a proper forum that will advocate for changes that will help sustain the industry.”