More than 50 complaints made against Cork taxi drivers last year

More than 50 complaints made against Cork taxi drivers last year
Almost 1,000 complaints were received about taxi drivers in Ireland last year. Pic: PaddyCummins/PCPhoto.ie

CORK taxi drivers were the subject of more than 50 complaints by the general public last year.

Figures released by the National Transport Authority show that 998 complaints were made against taxi drivers in Ireland last year, with 52 of these relating to Cork drivers.

The majority of complaints received relate to the 'conduct, behaviour and identification' of drivers, with 444 issues recorded in relation to poor hygiene and behaviour or the failure to display licences.

A further 348 complaints related to overcharging and fare issues, such as route selection, overcharging, the failure to use a meter or a lack of receipts.

In all, the NTA report that nearly two million trips are taken by taxi each year in Ireland, with 26,000 licenced drivers nationally.

The vast majority of complaints relate to drivers in Dublin, with more than 800 reports recorded by the NTA.

Outside the capital, Cork is responsible for more complaints than any other county.

Nationally, the NTA heard 34 complaints relating to the condition and cleanliness of vehicles, including one complaint which stated that the taxi driver was 'in desperate need of a shower and something to clean the car.'

Other passengers complained about an 'extremely filthy' taxi with a 'layer of dust and a smell of smoke.'

That driver was fined by the NTA due to the state of the vehicle.

In another incident, a passenger complained that a taxi driver subjected them to an 'unexpected barrage of abuse and swearing.'

This particular driver was also fined by the NTA.

An NTA spokesperson declined to give further information on the location of these incidents and clarified that complaints relating criminal acts are referred to An Garda Síochána.

The number of complaints against taxi drivers has increased almost every year since 2011 when just 349 complaints were registered nationally.

This year's figure of 998 was the highest in the last decade, according to the NTA.

However, a spokesperson for the NTA said that the introduction of an easier complaints process is at least partially responsible for this spike.

In 2014, the NTA introduced a website contact form, email and telephone service, leading to 'a significant increase in comments and complaints received.'

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