Taxi drivers will play a major role in the future of one major city, according to a member of the Scottish Parliament.
Whether it is a trip to the shops, restaurant, a night out or airport run, taxis are the trusted option to get people where they want to go and when they need to get there.
Despite pledges over public transport, few people can rely on buses and trains to get them to their destination on time and without the hassle of several stops, changes and delays.
By choosing a taxi, passengers don’t have to work about finding somewhere to park or pay expensive fees and can enjoy their event or trip as the taxi driver moves on to their next fare. And they can get to their destination knowing the driver is licensed, vetted and has the proper taxi insurance in place.
It is this reliability that has been praised by a Glasgow MSP who says only taxis will keep the heart of the city centre beating.
Speaking about concerns for the food and drink sector in Scotland, Pauline McNeill told the Scottish Parliament: “The taxi trade is vital to keeping the beating heart of a city centre thriving.
Taxi Point reports that during the debate, concerns were raised about the effect the city’s struggling taxi trade is having on the food and drink industry.
Ms McNeill highlighted the vital role played by the taxi trade in keeping the city centre thriving. Taxis have proudly served Glasgow for hundreds of years and it is the home of Patons Taxi Sales and Patons Insurance, which was founded by the family of taxi drivers.
Ms McNeill also called for support to ensure the sector’s growth and resilience, especially as she felt people have a lack of confidence in public transport.
She told MSPs: “I will talk about Glasgow, in my region, which is Scotland’s largest city. The hospitality industry is critical to the supply chain of the food and drink sector and it has been hugely exposed to rising costs, including utility costs and many others.
“There is a lack of confidence in public transport. There has been a huge impact on the taxi trade and a failure to properly support it, which has had an impact on cities such as Glasgow. The taxi trade is vital to keeping the beating heart of a city centre thriving.”
She added that there are vital links between the hospitality and transport sectors which have to be supported if both are to succeed, especially with motorists facing congestion and clean air zone charges.
She said: “Growth and resilience are important, as Colin Smyth mentioned in his contribution when he talked about the bus industry. Young people rely on the night bus service in Glasgow to get home from work in the hospitality sector.
“Many parents who were driving their sons and daughters home from a late shift were met with the introduction of the low-emission zone in Glasgow. The way in which that was done was a disaster. I fear the proposed congestion charges, simply because hospitality is so vital to a city such as Glasgow. If the public lack confidence to come into Glasgow or there is a perception that people cannot do that, and if we do not have the standard of public transport necessary to meet the city’s needs, that will impact on recruitment and jobs.”
Taxi drivers are often the unsung heroes of the community, so it is good to see them recognised like this for the vital role they play.