Steve McNamara: We'll take action again if we need to

Cabbie's view: Some minicab firms had requested reserve parking at Heathrow and would have had a kiosk

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If you want to hire a taxi, you can walk out of the airport to a rank, and hire one. If, on the other hand, you want to use a private hire vehicle, you can phone up and book one. That's how it is, that's how it's always been and no one has ever had a problem with that.

We were concerned that what was being mooted at Heathrow would have meant this was no longer the case. Some minicab firms had requested reserve parking and would have had a kiosk. It would have been perfectly legal, but we were worried that this was just a first step.

We have got no problem with people using minicabs at the airport – our concerns have nothing to do with choice, as some have portrayed it. At the moment, if you walk up to the information desk at Heathrow and ask to book a minicab, they will give you 33 numbers to ring for different firms. Under the proposed scheme, there would have been two firms. So this was not for the benefit of the passenger. Consumers have a choice already.

We've had to take direct action on several occasions, and if push comes to shove, we'd do it again. But we don't want to do it. Our members go out there to work during the day to earn a living. If they turn up to block Trafalgar Square, they don't get paid. They don't do it unless they absolutely have to.

Many people choose to book a mini-cab and good luck to them. We're not denying people choice. Common sense has prevailed here, which everyone should be pleased to see.



Steve McNamara is a spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association

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