Cabbies’ anger at taxi building row

Wigan Council is taking enforcement action against Crusader Cabs which has moved into a building opposite Wallgate station
Wigan Council is taking enforcement action against Crusader Cabs which has moved into a building opposite Wallgate station

Furious black cab drivers have demanded a private hire vehicle company is kicked out of a town centre building it is using without permission.

Hackney cab driver Eddie Earley, who was previously a union representative for Wigan’s black cabs industry, blasted Crusader Cabs over its move onto Wallgate.

Mr Earley says the firm’s use of the building without planning or licensing permission is causing a safety issue and makes a mockery of the drivers who play by the rules.

Crusader Cabs is using the building opposite the train station in defiance of enforcement and stop notices from Wigan Council, but although legal action has been promised against the firm if it continues to flout regulations Mr Earley says the lack of immediate action is causing frustration on the taxi rank.

Mr Earley said: “The firm has broken every rule I can think of and it should be shut down. The bloke just does whatever he wants.

“It’s creating a safety issue because people are coming out of the office and crossing the main road to get into a car.

“If they’re drunk they’re not going to wait for the green light, they’re going to see a taxi and head across Wallgate. Buses turning onto the road will never see them or stop in time.

“We’re disgusted that action has not been taken already. We’ve had problems with unregistered taxi drivers this year and it’s going to escalate if people think they can pick up anywhere they want and don’t have to jump through the hoops,”

Mr Earley claimed black cab drivers have also had problems with Crusader using its rank and parking illegally under the station verandah.

Wigan Council has pledged to take legal action if Crusader Cabs does not move out of the building on Wallgate.

Director for economy and environment Karl Battersby said: “Failure to comply with a stop notice is a criminal offence and should the use continue we will pursue further action.

“It is unfair to the rest of the trade when an operator does not follow the regime.”

The town hall also said Crusader was illegally displaying the council logo in the building’s windows.