Stamford passengers urged to report problems with taxis to South Kesteven District Council

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Taxi drivers have urged passengers to report any trouble they have while in a cab so the authorities can deal with it swiftly.

The warning follows a discussion on the Mercury’s Facebook page which attracted more than 170 comments on Tuesday evening.

Readers complained about several problems they had encountered with taxi drivers in Stamford, usually on Friday or Saturday evenings.

Some said drivers had refused to take fares within Stamford, preferring instead to take longer journeys for higher fees.

And others complained that drivers did not take the shortest route and would then throw passengers out when they did not have enough money for the longer journey.

Nigel Smith, a driver for Stamford-based Starline Taxis, said any problems should be reported to South Kesteven District Council immediately.

He added: “The problem is that people don’t understand what to do if something goes wrong.

“They should be reporting the issue to the local authority, not just talking about it.”

Mr Smith also recommended people book a taxi in advance and use a firm with a Stamford landline number to ensure the driver knew their way around the town.

Nigel Woodford has been driving his own taxi in Stamford since 1998.

He joined in with the Facebook debate and later told us the issues that were mentioned had been on the rise.

He said: “It’s a big problem at weekends. Some taxis don’t take smaller fees.

“From a driver’s point of view, if someone comes out of a club and asks me how much a journey is I will give them a price.

“But I always put the meter on as well and give them the change if it is lower, or keep to the agreed price if it’s higher.

“I have lost a bit of money but at least the person has got home.”

Chloe Fox, 42, of Lancaster Road, Stamford, made the initial post on Facebook.

She said her 16-year-old daughter was thrown out of a taxi that took the wrong route home from the town centre after telling the driver she couldn’t afford the fare.

Miss Fox said: “I was surprised at the response to my post.

“But I would agree with the advice. If more people report things then hopefully something will be done.”

The district council’s head of environmental services Mike Butler said no complaints had been received about Stamford taxis, but people should call 01476 406190 or e-mail licensing@southkesteven.gov.uk to report any issues.