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Too many licensed taxis doesn’t help
2:00pm Friday 13th November 2009 in Letters
SIR — In reply to the the dispute over a taxi fare (Chronicle letters, October 8), it seems to me that the driver did not cover the diversion to Alresford and found that he undercharged which would have partly been his fault.
This can sometimes happen as I know only too well that customers don’t always tell the driver that they want to do a divert, and then expect the driver to do it for the agreed fare.
If that was the case and the journey did not go straight to where they said they wanted to go — Ropley — then the fare would have been around the £35 mark.
If the driver had already agreed on the fare knowing a diversion to Alresford before leaving, then he should not have asked for more, nor did he have to run his meter.
If the potential customer is young, I personally tend to ask if they have enough money to cover their fare.
If not, they visit a cash machine before going or on the way, or contact their parents before leaving to agree a payment on arrival.
Whilst not accusing the passengers in this particular dispute because I am not aware of the full circumstances, in my experience some young people can be thoughtless when out late at night, so should always have a game plan to get home.
Being a full time cabbie and Hackney licensed in Winchester, I and other drivers have to put up with a lot of abuse at night from people not having enough to pay the metered fare, or not paying their fares, being aggressive, shouting and screaming abuse at the driver, and threatening all sorts, including physical attack when a fare disagreement arises.
When the present economic climate is such, and the city council has licensed too many taxis, it’s hardly surprising that this kind of thing happens.
Tony Wagstaffe, Walpole Road, Stanmore.
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