Staff at a council-run Dundee taxi test centre are being threatened and abused by some drivers over failed inspections.
Council chiefs have blasted an “unacceptable” rise in abuse aimed towards workers at the Marchbanks depot on Harefield Road.
Taxi drivers are required to get their vehicles tested at the site to make sure they are safe and roadworthy.
They also need to have their vehicles put through an MOT separately.
With several vehicles having failed tests in recent months, some drivers have become irate at the council workers responsible for inspecting them.
Dundee council mechanics ‘exasperated’ by taxi driver abuse
One source told The Courier some staff no longer want to work on taxi checks.
He said: “If the vehicles are failing these checks, the staff at the depot are being subjected to verbal abuse with threats of violence.
“It’s now at the point where mechanics don’t want to work on taxis – they are exasperated by what’s going on.
“These taxis are being failed because some of the cars are in an unacceptable condition.
“It’s known as a ‘police test’ so it is strict.”
Chris Elder, who represents some taxi drivers through Unite the Union, says the issue came up at a recent meeting with the local authority.
He condemned any threats being levelled at staff.
He said: “The tests are strict and there are a number of cabs failing currently.
“I can understand drivers’ frustrations – it’s their livelihood – but no one should be or feel threatened in their place of work.
“After the liaison meeting, we asked if this was an issue with fleet or individual cars (failing tests) and it appears it’s across the board.
“Due to the rate of failures, the retest fee has increased above the retail price index. It was £19 and it’s now £50.
“The trouble is, the majority are good taxi operators, and it feels like this blanket measure to increase the fee is punishing the entire trade.
“I would urge drivers to get their vehicles checked before taking the taxi test.”
‘Increase in unacceptable behaviour’ towards Dundee taxi test staff
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately we have seen an increase in unacceptable behaviour towards our staff.
“Any aggression or abuse towards our staff is unacceptable and we will deal with this in the appropriate manner.
“All vehicles licenced as taxis and private hire cars must pass a vehicle inspection test in addition to providing a valid MOT certificate prior to being licensed to ensure that they meet required standards.
“Where a vehicle does not meet this, we will not pass them.”