'We'll see protests, it's just crazy,' says taxi union chief
Taxi drivers in Dublin city will take to the streets to protest the proposed taxi ban on College Green a union boss has warned.
Christy Humphries, General Secretary of the National Private Hire and Taxi Association (NPHTA), described the proposals as "crazy".
"It's hugely significant to ban taxi drivers from any area in the city. It's a very busy area for drivers... not only for people who work in the area but for any drivers who need to bring their passengers through there," he said.
In addition to the ban on taxis on College Green, measures such as the pedestrianisation of St Stephen's Green North will mean that a number of taxi ranks will have to be moved.
The study published yesterday acknowledges that there is already a demand for more ranks in the city. Options on the table include more full-time ranks, night-only ranks or using closed city centre car parks as large-scale depots.
However the NPHTA boss is unconvinced that the proposals will work for drivers.
"Taxis could lose anything up to 300 spaces. I listened to proposals about car parks being used as ranks before and it's just crazy," Mr Humphries said. "I'd say we will see major protests on the streets. It won't be acceptable to taxi drivers".
The NPHTA, one of a number of taxi unions, will now begin work on a submission objecting to the plans.
Meanwhile the Herald spoke to drivers who work in the city centre, and were unhappy with the proposals.
"There's no logic to it, we're in a shopping area here, people need access to taxis. The more you limit the availability of roads, the less likely people are going to come in to the city centre," said Eugene Macari from Tallaght
"They're going to take the life out of the city. What about elderly people trying to get around the city centre?
Fellow Tallaght resident Neil Browne warned that the plans in their current form would destroy the economy.