Asbo warning is dished out to Waverley Bridge cabbies
TAXI drivers have been warned they could be slapped with Asbos if they park on Waverley Bridge or on bus lanes.
CAN'T HACK THIS: Taxi drivers have been warned against clogging Waverley Bridge after their waiting area was closed. Picture: IAN GEORGESON
In an e-mail sent to the city's firms, cabbies were warned that officers would have the right to issue an Asbo if they clogged up the bridge or bus lanes across the Capital.
Last night, police were seen moving taxis on from spaces on Waverley Bridge, which many drivers have been using as an unofficial "feeder rank" following the temporary closure of the waiting area in Waverley station in March.
The news comes just weeks after taxis were banned from going through Holyrood Park, then told shortly afterwards that the ban had been overturned because it had no legal standing.
Today, disgruntled cabbies called the move "crazy" and a "load of nonsense". Drivers from Computer Cab and City Cabs confirmed they had received the message saying that police would be issuing Asbo warnings for inconsiderate parking.
The message, which has been seen by the News, warned: "Get two warnings, risk licence".
Cabbie George Pendreigh, from east Edinburgh, blasted the latest decision as "nonsense" and said drivers had little choice but to park on the bridge because of the closure of the station rank.
He said: "When the rank is full at Waverley Bridge, some people are parking where the tour buses would go after 8pm. They use it as a feeder to jump across when a space comes free. There's no harm in it."
Ali Radhi, 50, from Corstorphine, whose wife is also a cab driver, said: "This is silly. How can sitting in your cab outside a station be antisocial behaviour?
"Police have been moving the drivers on but it's the evening now and all of the tour buses are gone, so we're not in the way."
The city's three main black cab firms - City Cabs, Central Radio Taxis and ComCab - formed the Edinburgh Licensed Taxi Partnership to represent the 5000 people in the trade.
Raymond Davidson, secretary of the Edinburgh Taxi Association, said: "One of the drivers showed me this on his system earlier and I think this is way over the top. The only time I've heard of Asbos is noisy neighbours and kids causing trouble.
"The authorities have got to show a bit of leniency.
"It's absolutely ridiculous to hand an Asbo to a man sitting waiting for a fare. They are not causing any trouble. They wouldn't be there if there was no business for them."
Murray Fleming, company secretary of Central Taxis, said: "I believe this is a bit of a heavy-handed approach. I understand that the police are trying to find a mechanism whereby people will take notice."However, problems on Waverley Bridge, among others, were anticipated and solutions were put forward by the taxi trade previously. These problems have been exacerbated by the council and the police by ignoring these recommendations.
"I would suggest if they had been prepared to give up some revenue-generating road space we could have facilitated this far better."
The News has previously reported on incidents where police have issued Asbos to drivers for careless or inconsiderate driving but not for irresponsible parking. Asbos can be issued under powers designed to help officers deal effectively with vehicles that cause annoyance, such as those used by boy racers.
Police could not confirm today if the warnings had been issued and were looking into the matter.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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