A taxi firm has pled with owners of a private car park to take a “common sense approach” after a driver was fined for collecting a disabled passenger.
A Tay Taxis driver was fined while collecting a passenger in a wheelchair from support service Capability Scotland in Camperdown Street at City Quay, Dundee.
He was fined £170 by Euro Car Parks after spending 29 minutes in the area managed by the firm.
Capability Scotland work with disabled children and adults and has a long-term contract with Tay Taxis for service users to be dropped-off and collected safely.
A 15-minute free waiting period is offered but Tay Taxis director Charlie Duthie said this is not long enough to safely collect disabled passengers.
‘Common sense approach’
Mr Duthie has been pleading with the land owner’s property management company since the fine was received in March, without success.
“A common sense approach has got to be put in place here with this,” he said.
“We have been trying to contest the decision on his [driver’s] behalf with the property management company representing the owner.
“Eventually the driver paid a fine of £170, as there was threats of legal of action, despite our ongoing discussions.
“We have daily runs to Capability Scotland and have done so for a number of years, there is a great relationship there with the charity.
“All the drivers know the various needs of the passenger and it can take varying degrees of time to get people on and off safely.
“We’ve tried to explain this repeatedly to firm representing the owner but they are not prepared to extend the gratis period, despite now knowing the nature of the taxi fares.
“Unfortunately there is no way around it for us, we need to be parked there to get them on and off safely.
“For safety reasons I would urge a reconsideration to the current stance and extend the gratis period.”
Mr Duthie also believes the fine should be reimbursed.
He added: “No one else was even parked there, as it was during lockdown, it was completely empty.
“The owner of the taxi and his family took the decision to pay it given the threats were made of further action.”
Degree of flexibility
Capability Scotland bosses also plan to contact the car park operators, in support of the taxi driver.
“We are disappointed that a taxi driver is the subject of legal action,” a spokesman said.
“To our knowledge, drivers take only the amount of time required to pick up or drop off our customers.
“Given the service they are providing to disabled people who rely on this transport to attend City Quay, we would have hoped for a degree of flexibility from the operators of the car park in such matters.
“We will certainly take this issue up with the operators and with the local authority.”
Euro Car Park did not respond to a request for comment.