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Council calls for end to taxi monopoly at Glasgow airport

26.10.05

Taxis at Glasgow Airport should lose their monopoly on picking up passengers, city council bosses said yesterday. They say taxis running empty between the airport and city centre are clogging the M8 and polluting the city.

Currently Glasgow city cabs cannot queue at the airport and pick up passengers, while airport cabs are not allowed to pick people up from Glasgow city taxi ranks. A council spokesman said: 'Almost one quarter of airport traffic is taxis and the current restrictions on pickups at the airport and within the city means many vehicles are running between the two with no passengers.

'This is not good for the environment and adds to traffic congestion. We need to solve the problem, but this will need compromise from current arrangements involving Glasgow and Renfrewshire taxis.'

The recommendation is one of several made by Glasgow officials in response to a consultation by BAA Scotland, the owner of Glasgow Airport, over its masterplan for the site. Bill McIntosh, of the Glasgow Taxi Owners' Association, said: 'It is an interesting concept, but it would have to be discussed with the licensing committee and the taxi trade.'

A spokesman for Cab Fly, the firm that manages the rank at Glasgow Airport, said he doubted the system could be changed to allow, say, Glasgow cabs to queue in Renfrewshire. He said: 'It would be against the law. It is illegal for taxis to rank in an area in which they are not licensed.'

Even if the law was changed, the spokesman for Cab Fly said he did not think changes to the airport monopoly would go down well with Renfrewshire drivers. He added: 'The operators here would not be happy.'

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