Unite the union’s Edinburgh Taxi branch has today (24 September) called on Edinburgh city council to begin an inquiry into the increasing number of private hire licenses operating in the city. The demand is supported by over 500 cab drivers and supporters who have signed a petition calling for an 'Over Provisioning Survey' to be undertaken by the Licensing Committee.

Drivers with flags, banners, taxis and a large trailer will be presenting the petition tomorrow (Wednesday) to council officials at Parliament Square at 11 a.m. where Unite taxi representatives will also be available for photo opportunities and to respond to questions.

Scott Blair, chair of the Unite Edinburgh cab branch said “The number of licenses in Edinburgh should be a cause of concern for cab drivers, private hire drivers and passengers. By continuing to increase the number of vehicles licensed to be on the road then Edinburgh risks increased congestion in one of the most polluted cities in the UK.

“Serious concerns have been raised regarding the flagrant breaches of regulations that occur throughout the city particularly at the weekends. The refusal of Edinburgh city council to include enforcement as part of its regulation of the trade puts the public at risk from unscrupulous and illegal operators. Drivers and the public are rightly demanding a dedicated enforcement team. As ambassadors for Edinburgh, we play a vital role in supporting Edinburgh as a destination of choice for tourists and residents. Councils across Scotland and the wider UK have taken the lead, now it’s time for Edinburgh to follow.”


For more information contact Unite regional industrial officer Willie Thomson on 07810157910.

WHEN: Wednesday 25th September, 11:00 – 11:30
WHERE: 1 Parliament Square, Edinburgh

Notes to editors:

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.