15 Jan Cardiff City Stops Taxi Marshals But Zoom App Can Help Passengers and Firms
Cardiff council has ended its taxi marshalling service, citing the reason as financial difficulties.
The information came to light after permanent staff were written to by the council to tell them their jobs would be coming to an end.
The marshals were employed to manage queues in the City centre at Greyfriars Road and Lower St Mary Street on Friday and Saturday nights which council papers from 2015 said were important to public safety.
City centre manager Paul Williams said that “public safety is of paramount importance” and it was important that a way of continuing to fund the service needed to be found to continue the service to meet the city’s “ever growing demands” adding that South Wales Police “rely heavily” on the service.
The service was promoted by the authority in 2015 in the wake of three alleged sex assaults in the city centre and it is relied on when large events happen in the city. It was raised in a committee at the Welsh Assembly following claims that the aftermath of a match at the Principality Stadium featuring Anthony Joshua was not handled well by the authorities.
After the fight, at the Principality Stadium, there were queues for taxis until 5am and the stadium manager Mark Williams told Assembly Members there should have been better
One of the respondent’s was stadium manager Mark Williams “availability and marshalling of taxis in the city centre”.
Chief Operating Officer of zoom.taxi Fareed Baloch said the “increasing pressure on local authority budgets will inevitably lead to some places reducing the services run by councils.”
“Marshalling services are a good way of helping speed up the dissipation of large crowds who need to get taxis, but it is not the only solution.
“Given the number of private hire vehicles operating and the new technology available people can book their ride home in advance and make sure any special requirements are catered for.
“Local firms using our app can ensure they have enough drivers available for large events and corporate accounts can be catered for with ease with our accountancy functions.
“Passengers can see when their car is coming to collect them and have details about the car and driver for added peace of mind.”
A council spokesman said: “The decision to close the taxi marshalling service was included in the 2016-17 budget proposals approved by council in February 2017.
“The new administration elected in May 2017 has been attempting to identify an external source of funding from the private sector in a bid to retain the service. However, this has not proved to be possible and therefore regretfully the service will close in line with the earlier council decision.”
However, business group FOR Cardiff, will continue to run their own service.
“For Cardiff provide an additional taxi marshalling service to that currently provided by Cardiff Council on Fridays and Saturdays at the southern end of Westgate Street which began last summer, which has proved popular and ensures that people get a licensed taxi quicker than they would otherwise do, and in a safe environment.”