TAXI drivers have threatened to block off Patrick Street completely with their cars if their ranks continue to be used by private vans and cars during upgrade works.
The warning comes after the taxi rank in front of Dunnes Stores on Patrick Street was being used by private vehicles in recent days as part of ongoing building works.
Taxi drivers were told the rank was now part of a building site for the resurfacing works.
Spokesperson for the Cork Taxi Association, Bobby Lynch, said the taxi drivers have been pushed to their limit by Cork City Council who “don’t care about the taxi drivers.”
Mr Lynch said the drivers do not want to have to block the street, as it would affect the shops, but they felt forced to make the threat due to the lack of action from the City Council.
The issue surrounding the use of taxi ranks by private cars came to a head at a private meeting between the Cork Taxi Association and the City Council.
“If we have no ranks, we have nowhere to go,” Mr Lynch explained.
“We are not allowed to form our own taxi ranks, we have to go where we are told.”
Following the meeting, the City Council has also promised to put new signage on Patrick Street to show the public where they can avail of a taxi.
Mr Lynch said the new signage was needed to ensure people are aware of where they can get a taxi.
According to Mr Lynch, taxi drivers are struggling due to the ongoing roadworks on Patrick Street.
“We accept the fact that the work needs to be done, but we have done everything they have asked of us and they (Cork City Council) are not keeping up their side of the bargain.”
Mr Lynch highlighted the fact that the roadworks are not active 24 hours a day.
“If this was Dublin, the roadworks would be 24/7, that’s for sure. It’s a pure disgrace,” Mr Lynch said.
However, Mr Lynch has acknowledged that the City Council is attempting to address their grievances and said the talks with City Hall officials were productive.
“We will need to review it as the works go on, but we are quite happy with the progress that was made.”
A spokesperson for the Roads and Transportation section of City Hall said temporary arrangements and signage for the provision of taxi ranks were put in place for the initial phases of work on Patrick Street.
"As work progresses these temporary arrangements need to be modified periodically. Cork City Council continues to liaise with the taxi representatives on an ongoing basis and any temporary signage necessary to advise the public of the temporary arrangements is being put in place."
"Cork City Council apologises for the inconvenience cause during the necessary repair works on Patrick Street and we will continue to work with traders, taxi and other groups to ensure this disruption is kept to a minimum."