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Blackburn taxi drivers struggling in 'ghost town'
3:00pm Monday 10th February 2014 in News
BLACKBURN Council is to introduce measures to revive the town’s night time economy after taxi drivers, takeaways and licensees said their businesses were struggling.
Taxi drivers said a loss of evening business, combined with rising fuel and maintainence costs and closure of the old bus station left many drivers short of work.
Drivers also say the town’s one-way system causes problems, as having to go the long way round pushes up fares for passengers.
Blackburn Taxi Association chairman Mohammed Yunis, said: “With the one-way system, the bus station going, and no night-tlife at all, we’re struggling. There are not many clubs, and if they could bring nightlife back, that would be better.”
Bastwell councillor Iftakhar Hussain said many taxi drivers had been coming to him with their problems. “I feel sorry for them, some of them are of such an age they can’t change jobs,” he said.
“It looks like a ghost town at night, there’s nothing for people to come into town for.”
Damian Talbot, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for the leisure, culture and young people said: “It’s about trying anything.
“The economy’s not in the strongest position and people’s drinking habits are changing. From the beginning of March pubs are going to be encouraging students to come into town on a Thursday night. We’re working with the college on this.
“With Blakey’s, our licensed venue, we’ve worked very hard to make sure there is a lot going on at the weekends.
“We’re hoping it will all have a knock-on effect. If there are more people in the town centre at night they are going to be using taxis more.”
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