Several cabbies drawn into late-night disputes over passengers paying by card

Cabbies have been having late-night disputes about passengers wanting to pay their taxi fare by debit or credit card, councillors were told.

Drivers have had several altercations either with taxi marshals or passengers late at night or in the early hours of the morning, according to Conservative councillor Dee Simson.

She told Brighton and Hove City Council’s Licensing Committee that the disputes had been reported in East Street and West Street, in Brighton, where the taxi marshals are based.

They had happened since a rule change earlier this year, requiring taxis to offer cashless payment from the start of last month.

But the rule requiring a card or phone reader applies only to drivers with a new licence or a renewed licence.

When the Licensing Committee last met in February, taxi trade representatives told councillors that most drivers had card readers.

But at Hove Town Hall on Thursday (23 June), Councillor Simson said that she had received several reports of “altercations” over card payments.

She told the committee: “I am hoping as time goes on these altercations between taxi marshals and / or customers and taxi drivers should reduce because more will have card machines.

“I wondered if we have a plan B in case it doesn’t reduce?

“The minutes of the last meeting said the majority of (taxis) have card machines so why is this happening?”

Councillor Simson said that the rules gave passengers the choice of how they paid – not the driver.

Council licensing officer Martin Seymour said that the new rules were a licence condition for about 60 drivers – and the number would rise.

Mr Seymour said: “Some of the cases are drivers using it as an excuse not to take passengers rather than accusing them of being drunk or with food. It’s an easy option to refuse.”

Officers kept a spreadsheet to track which drivers were refusing fares, councillors were told. And, if necessary, officials would speak to drivers.

When the change was proposed, the Brighton and Hove Cab Trade Association asked the council to consult drivers about the payment rules.

The results reflected the association’s own poll of members, with most backing the change, according to a report to the council’s Licensing Committee in February.

  1. Wango Reply

    Simply put if you take cash you can make your tax liability a lot lower.

    If its card payments, you can’t hide that.
    In this day and age its a joke you have to take cash out to get a taxi.

    It’s self defeating as people just get uber instead of having to risk this nonsense.

    • Helen Reply

      Simple minds produce simple comments. I can’t speak for taxi drivers, but in what I do, customers need to pay in advance or can pay cash on the day, remember, not everyone has a card or card reader and being an intelligent person with years of experience with technology, I know that tech can fail or there’s other problems. A couple of times gone to pay for something by card and either the machine is faulty or wont work. Always carry enough cash to cover for un-foreseen problems.
      And don’t forget, areas of the UK do not pick up links to pay by card.

    • Helen Reply

      Oh yes UBER, would not use them, not only are their drivers dodgy, vehicles uninsured, they charge you two or three times the amount quoted.

  2. Charlie Jones Reply

    Uk Gov and the banks want to turn us into a cashless society so we pay more tax etc. banks charge 5% to bank cash but a card machine typically charge 1.75%.what is confusing is that chippies often just take cash while others only take card.

  3. Ollie Reply

    No one talks about real problem.
    Taxi drivers ask for a cash bcos some customer run away without paying and its not good 2 am In the morning and you don’t get payed by customer. And no council or police do something about it.

  4. Andrew Reply

    If you phone a taxi they have to take card. If you arrive at the taxi rank most will profile you and refuse service. As a disabled person I find this very confusing. Also have had a taxi driver drop me far away from my house as I only had cash (which I told him mid journey) and he “accidentally” took several wrong turns to run the meter out and i had to walk up the hill from basically Edward Street, and I had got the taxi from the hospital taxi rank!! A lot of cabbies seem like nice people but taxi ranks almost always say no card to me.

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