Yesterday (September 17), Bedford taxi drivers protested outside Bedford Borough Council offices after failing “unfairly” to inspect vehicles for minor issues such as scuff marks on the paintwork of the windows. -shocks.
A taxi driver told BedfordshireLive these minor repairs can cost hundreds of pounds to bring their cars to a level Bedford Borough Council is happy with.
The Bedford, Bedfordshire taxi driver – Murad Islam, 33 – also said he was unable to work for around two weeks – leaving him with a lot of lost income to care for his family.
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Mr Islam has been in default for the purpose of his headlight and “poor repairs and painting of the front and rear bumpers” about five times according to council documents.
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However, the “bad paint” on its front and rear bumpers is almost completely unnoticeable unless you look very closely.
To the naked eye it looks like nothing more than a small scratch and when looking at the car from a distance, the Toyota’s silver paintwork appears to be in good condition.
He said he had a quote today (September 18) for £ 300 for the paint job on his taxi.
He told BedfordshireLive in a live video on Facebook: “For many years the council ditched our cars over very small paints or minor nail marks.” It’s very frustrating for all drivers.
“There are imperceptible shards of stone and cars fail for that – that is unacceptable as a driver.”
He added: ‘It is very difficult for us drivers to spend £ 300 or £ 400 on tiny scratches – we have to repaint the whole bumper.
“It’s not fair to us drivers – we don’t get millions for driving taxis in Bedford.”
He said if you saw the car you would think it was a “nice and clean car” to “get you from A to B”.
Mr Islam – who organized the protest – said he was not the only driver facing these problems. “We have so many other cars breaking down every day,” he said.
“They are so frustrated and they run around all the garages trying to fix them and spend money they maybe don’t earn a week – it’s unbearable for us to spend around £ 500 on tiny shards of rock.
“The board puts us in trouble – once it fails we can’t win anymore, we can’t go to work, that means our income is cut off and our families are hurting.”
The frustrated taxi driver also said the pressure to pay for minor paint jobs was bad for the environment as it was unnecessary product use and increased waste.
A Borough Council spokesperson said: “Bedford Borough Council is committed to ensuring that our local taxi and private hire services are provided in high quality vehicles that are safe for the public.
“If a vehicle breaks down for a minor problem that can be retested in 15 minutes, we do not charge for retesting the vehicle.”
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