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All-Island Taxi Proposal to March Tynwald 11 March 2011

TAXIS will be allowed to operate anywhere in the Island, rather than be restricted to one of four districts, under a Department of Infrastructure proposal going before the March sitting of Tynwald.

After a meeting with representatives of the industry the Department has agreed to undertake an unmet needs survey which will help the RTLC assess whether there is an unmet need before it issues new s29 licenses. The Department believe this will give some protection to the industry to ensure licenses and the businesses and jobs they represent to remain viable. The Department has also met with the industry to pre-empt concerns about the potential of more taxis operating in Douglas and has identified additional space on the Promenade as well as other potential space should there be insufficient space in the current ranks.

The move to all-island is part of the Department’s ongoing programme to modernise transport provision, is in line with recommendations approved by Tynwald in July 2009 and was the most favoured option in a public consultation completed in November last year. Nearly 400 people took part in the consultation and we were overwhelmed at the response with over 80% supporting this change.

Minister Gawne explained:

‘Our priority must be the best interests of the public, the customer and the environment; however, I remain committed to working with the taxi industry to ensure that the best interests of all parties are served. I do however recognise this is a significant change for the industry and I have committed the Department to review the effects of this Order in 12 months; to conducting an unmet needs survey; to establish a committee representing all stakeholders to review legislation regulating the taxi trade; and I can confirm the Department has already identified, with the assistance of the taxi industry, possible new rank locations in Douglas. I hope the industry will understand the need to modernise and recognise that in 2001 they were given 5 years to adjust to this change and essentially have enjoyed a further 5 year extension on top of that initial period of grace.’

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