The Liverpool Echo spent a Saturday night in town with the Taxi Alliance
An image being shared on social media appears to show a “free for all” private hire situation in Liverpool.
Angry hackney carriage drivers have posted the image of a private hire cab which appears to have license stickers for both Knowsley Council AND Transport for London - but is being clearly operated in Liverpool.
The tweet, posted by twitter user PJL suggests that the photo was taken yesterday in Liverpool.
The same user has posted another image of a private hire driver - which appears to have no plates or door signs - as another example of the “free for all” situation with licensed cabs in the city.
That phrase has been coined by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson , who has vowed to come down hard on any illegal private hire activity taking place within the city.
This car appears to have plates for Knowsley Council and Transport for London - and is operating in London
He has also reiterated his calls for a region-wide private hire license, to stem the flow of drivers who are licensed in boroughs like Knowsley and Sefton “flooding into Liverpool” and making it harder for local drivers to work.
He said: “If we get evidence of these types of activities then we will take action - we are doing lots of work at the moment to clamp down on things like this and I would ask all Liverpool licensed cabbies to provide us with evidence.”
He said: “I have been calling for a city-region wide approach because currently people are allowed to travel from one borough to another and one city to another - we have cabs swamping Liverpool and we are the ones who have to police them.
“It is an absurd system and we are overwhelmed at the moment - on match days we are seeing drivers coming from Manchester, Leeds and York to take business off Liverpool drivers.”
He added: “Our drivers pay license fees in Liverpool and when they are trying to make ends meet but can’t work at the weekend because the city is swamped with outside drivers - it really makes me angry.”
The city council has been clamping down on the illegal activities of private hire drivers in the city.
Hundreds of drivers have been snared for offences including drugs and driving without insurance.