Noisy Norwich taxi drivers to face crackdown

Taxi drivers who park on residential streets at night – creating a noise nuisance for people living there – are to be targeted as part of a new police crackdown.

A meeting of the City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team has heard complaints from people living in roads near Prince of Wales Road, who say that private hire firm taxi drivers are parking up and making too much noise while they wait for jobs.

The concerns raised by people living in the Rose Lane, Maidstone Road and Crown Road areas of the city have resulted in the issue being made a priority by the safer neighbourhoods team.

Now those who complain about taxi drivers – and other anti-social related problems in the city – are to be given forms to log the nature of the problem and details of those responsible, including licence plate numbers. The forms will then be handed to Norwich City Council and the drivers identified warned about their behaviour which, if it continues, could result in their licences being revoked.

Julian Foster, chairman of the city centre's Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) said he did not want the crackdown to result in the loss of lots of taxi drivers.

He said: 'We want taxis in Prince of Wales Road at night in order to clear the people away from the pubs and bars, but we do want them to behave reasonably and have care for other people.'

Mark Streeter, who owns Courtesy Cars based at Prince of Wales Road in the city and has a part share in Beeline and Dolphin taxis, said all his drivers were briefed about not parking in residential areas.

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He said: 'We can only do so much to advise the drivers and try and keep everyone happy. The drivers have to be in the city centre because we serve the city centre and the taxi offices are there. It's a fine line between keeping the drivers where they need to be and keeping Norwich residents happy.'

Mr Streeter said the majority of his drivers were instructed to use the Rose Lane car park where possible to wait for jobs, as opposed to residential streets.

Mr Streeter said all his cars could be tracked by satellite navigation systems to ensure that they were not stopping in residential streets.

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