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Clampdown call as some taxis have five licences on one cab

TAXI chiefs want a limit placed on the number of licences being issued for one vehicle.

Tony Rowe, the spokesperson for taxis on the National Transport Assembly of Ireland said that drivers can apply for five licences that enable them to work in different counties.

However, he said there are concerns that: "There are a lot of bogus and fraudulent licences going around.

"A contributing factor is some drivers have been issued with up to five licenses for the one car," he said.

"This system doesn't apply anywhere else in Europe," said Mr Rowe.

The spokesperson said that a driver can legitimately get a licence for Dublin and also apply for one for other areas like Wexford, Meath or Kildare and end up with a number of licences.

However, he said that the fear is that some licences could fall into the hands of bogus and fraudulent drivers.

"There doesn't seem to be an awareness of this, and this is one of the things we want to highlight," he said.

Mr Rowe said: "The whole licensing system has to be reformed."

There are over 33,000 taxi licences, and the majority of them are working in the greater Dublin area.

SAFETY

"We are calling on the new Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to act effectively in the interests of the safety of the general public and the safety of the workers in the industry," Mr Rowe said.

The concern is with so many licences in circulation that they could find their way into "less scrupulous hands," he warned.

"You can't use five licences, so why would you want to issue five to one driver. We want to see this loophole being closed."

He described the current system as being "open to abuse."

Mr Rowe said that a tightening up of the system was required,

"We would like to see the new minister being proactive on this issue," he said.

"We would like to see input from the garda carriage office who are absolutely brilliant and instrumental at detecting bogus taxi drivers.

"We are inundated with complaints from taxi drivers and from the general public.

He added a full review "sooner rather than later" on the issuing of licences is required.

fdillon@herald.ie


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