Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called on the Infrastructure Minister to ensure that taxi drivers who need to access testing facilities in order to operate legally can do so locally.
The Foyle MLA said:
“I have been contacted by taxi drivers who are frustrated that they are unable to access some of the vehicle testing services locally and have to travel to Belfast to obtain the necessary up-to-date paperwork.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic many taxi drivers were on the front line; leaving health service staff and carers to work. They also delivered meals, gas/electricity top ups and heating oil to the vulnerable.
“I have asked the Infrastructure Minister to put in place measures that would ensure taxi drivers and others can safely access testing facilities within the local area.
“I have also asked the Minister to explore using enforcement methods that are in more keeping with the spirit of the times for the taxi sector, such as issuing cautions for a short grace period in lieu of financial penalties, where it could be considered appropriate.
“It is essential that taxi vehicles are compliant with the law and the Department should be working with the sector during this time to find the best way to move forward together, and in the safest possible manner.” ENDS/CRÍOCH