Cabbies could protest over lost £400 a month

Craig Dimbleby who is a taxi driver in Norwich

Craig Dimbleby who is a taxi driver in Norwich - Credit: Alice Pritchard

Black cab drivers are "angry and frustrated" at Norwich City Council's refusal to raise their fixed fares.

Some drivers estimate they are losing out on up to £400 a month due to increasing fuel costs.

But they are unable to put their prices up without approval from the council and some are now threatening to bring the city to a standstill in protest. 

Craig Dimbleby, who has been a taxi driver for nearly 30 years, said: "All the local companies have put their prices up accordingly due to the fuel prices, but we are left behind.

"There's nothing we can do about it without the intervention of the city council.

"I've written to the leader of the council, I've emailed the chairman of the licensing committee ... It's beyond belief and this can't carry on.

"One of my main concerns is some of these drivers and some of their mental health situations. It's dire.

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"We're vastly underappreciated."

Black cabs waiting at the taxi rank next to Norwich Market
Picture: Neil Perry / Archant

Black cabs waiting at the taxi rank next to Norwich Market Picture: Neil Perry / Archant - Credit: Archant

Mr Dimbleby said the cabbies could be left with no choice but to protest.

"It's the last thing we want to do because it's an inconvenience on the public but how else are we supposed to be heard? How else are we supposed to get the council to act?

"It will cause mass disruption within the city - something that we don't want to do but it's an option that we have."

Other transport sectors in the region have received more support from the city council.

This includes First Bus which will get £3.2m for electric buses from the Department for Transport's £50m Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund which the council secured.

Terry Watson has been a taxi driver for 24 years and added: "The bus company get grants of three million odd.

"They are a private enterprise and they get three million pounds to spend on new buses and we get nothing - absolutely nothing.

"We come at the bottom of the pile."

A city council spokesman said: "The council is working hard to help wherever it can and is proactively responding to the request from drivers to review the fares.

“We have been working on reviewing the meter charging and hope to have a solution in place soon. We will be in touch directly with the cab drivers affected to update them.”