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McCartney gives broad support to Taxi Bill

26 June, 2007

Raymond McCartney said:

"The purpose - rationale behind the Taxi Bill is to bring about efficient and effective regulation of the taxi industry compatible with the interests of drivers and owners and most importantly in the interest of the travelling public.

The Foyle MLA commented that:

"Coming from Derry I have been in contact with the North West Taxi Forum and they believe that the Bill, if passed, will go a long way to regulate the industry and create a level playing field.

"They accept that the provisions of the Bill will require an increase in the fares structure but a proper, professional and efficient service will be compensation for this. It is with this in mind that our support for the Bill is offered.

Pointing out that there are some aspects of the Bill, which will require more explanation and scrutiny which can be undertaken at the Committee stage, Mr McCartney continued:

"Some areas of concern are the impact on Rural taxi provision; the current provision of the service in Belfast City centre and the introduction of a taxi drivers licence.

"The Committee stage will allow time for more definition on the outworking of the Bill and will allow for those within the industry to have a further input before the passage of the Bill to legislation. I look forward to working with the Minister and the Committee in shaping a Bill that will protect, operators, drivers and most especially the general public."

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