"Glasgow City Council must get round the table and sort out this mess before jobs are lost" - ALBA's Jim Eadie

Former First Minister Alba Party Leader Alex Salmond and Alba Party candidate for the Rutherglen constituency Jim Eadie have met with representatives of the Scottish Private Hire Association to hear first hand about the “significant downturn in trade” which is having an adverse effect on private hire drivers. They are concerned that the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) introduced by Glasgow City Council is making a bad situation even worse as hundreds of drivers may now have to leave the industry as their vehicles are non-compliant.

Alex Salmond said:

“Private hire and taxi drivers are the backbone of our local economies across the country. I am therefore concerned to learn from the Scottish Private Hire Association of the severe difficulties facing their members as a result of ill thought out policies such as Glasgow City Council’s Low Emission Zone. The levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) have gone up, not down, since the LEZ was introduced and hundreds of drivers are set to leave the industry. This is a disastrous ‘double whammy’ which is causing economic harm for no environmental benefit. It is time for Glasgow Council to think again before this disastrous policy is rolled out across Scotland.”

Eddie Grice, General Secretary of the Scottish Private Hire Association said:

"Private hire and taxi drivers have many concerns as we go to the polls. Our drivers are struggling with a significant downturn in trade with many drivers sitting idle without work for long periods of the day. There's many factors here such as a slowdown in the nighttime economy, a significant number of people still working from home, and high costs of living affecting everyone's pockets. We are all watching the campaigns closely so that we can vote for candidates that will listen to and talk to us about our concerns and are making manifesto pledges that we think could help our industry".

Jim Eadie, Alba Party candidate for the Rutherglen constituency said:

“Private hire and taxi drivers are key workers and played a vital role during the pandemic and yet they have been let down and let down badly by Glasgow City Council who are refusing to engage directly and constructively with the very people effected by the LEZ, the private hire drivers themselves. It is galling to think that up to 250 vehicles and up to 500 drivers, including drivers in Rutherglen and South Lanarkshire, could potentially be driven out of the trade because their vehicles are non-compliant with LEZ, and no longer able to drive into Glasgow City Centre. Glasgow City Council must get round the table with the private hire and taxi drivers and sort out this mess before jobs are lost.”

John Wallace, an SPHA trade rep said:

"The current administrations, at all levels, are failing us. Glasgow is in a terrible state and has become a city that just isn't desirable for business to invest in. Our economy is lagging behind and services have been slashed all while the council and governments engage in vanity projects. We need people in charge that will look at the reality of the situation and bring in policies that will help boost our economy and get our services back on track".

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