Northern Ireland news

Black taxi drivers urge infrastructure minister to implement concessionary fares to save jobs

Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey yesterday handed a letter into the Department for Infrastructure in Belfast on behalf of Belfast Taxis CIC who are calling on Minister Nichola Mallon to urgently implement concessionary fares on the service. Picture by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

Black taxi drivers in north and west Belfast have called on Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to urgently implement concessionary fares on the service and prevent imminent job losses.

Drivers from Belfast Taxis CIC yesterday visited the Department for Infrastructure headquarters in Adelaide Street in Belfast city centre to deliver a letter addressed to the minister.

Michael Culbert, Chairman of Belfast Taxis CIC, said the issue has been long-running.

"For some years now Belfast Taxis CIC has been involved in numerous meetings and communications with Department for Infrastructure officials on the issue of the implementation of concessionary fares in community Black Taxis in West and North Belfast," he said.

"This has still not been resolved, and it is simply not good enough.

"All we are asking for is for the same concessionary facility to be available to Black Taxi customers in the same way as they are available on other transport companies."

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said the issue has been "outstanding for too long and needs addressed as a matter of urgency".

"Over 60s in my constituency and the minister’s own constituency use the black taxi service and cannot avail of the concessionary fare scheme and I believe this is an equality issue," he said.

Black taxi drivers in north and west Belfast have called on Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to urgently implement concessionary fares on the service and save jobs. Drivers from Belfast Taxis CIC yesterday visited the Department for Infrastructure headquarters in Adelaide Street in Belfast city centre to deliver a letter addressed to the Minister seeking an urgent meeting regarding the issue.Picture by Mal McCann

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Northern Ireland news