Taxi drivers fight for place to park

March 14, 2018

Karen Barber of Heathcote Taxi's says people need to stop parking in the taxi zone

AN ALLEGED assault on a taxi driver was the final straw for Karen Barber and her fellow drivers — they are fed up with locals and tourists parking in the designated taxi area.

Mrs Barber said an off-duty driver spotted a truck in the park last week.

“They went over and politely asked him to move the vehicle. When he was asked, the driver turned and pretty much told him where to go,” Mrs Barber said.

The park in question is on the corner of Chauncey St and High St, situated out the front of the former Dalesford building.

“Then not long afterwards one of our drivers came along and had to park up the road, when he then approached the man and asked him to move, the man pushed him up against the wall and started laying into him.

“It got so bad that the man’s friends had to step in and pull him off our driver.

“They then all stood in front of the truck while he pulled out so we couldn’t get his registration, but we think we have got that now.”

Mrs Barber said the driver was not seriously injured in the alleged attack and is recovering well, although fairly shaken.

“He just shouldn’t have to put up with that sort of stuff while he is just doing his job.”

Mrs Barber said this problem has been on-going with both locals and tourists thinking it is OK to park in the designated taxi area.

“This was just another example of someone not caring that the park is reserved.

“We have also had people waiting in that area before ready to be picked up by a taxi they have called, and when people have parked there and been asked to move they have also told them where to go.”

Karen and the driver reported the incident to the Bendigo Police, however after not hearing anything Karen said she stumbled across something herself.

“Without the registration it is hard to get the matter taken any further but we think we have found out who it was through another angle. I won’t use any names at the moment.”

Karen also said the idea of reserving the park for a taxi goes beyond making it easy for the driver.

“It has been an issue now for a long time, people seem to park in that spot and I am not sure why.

“It is an Occupational Health and Safety issue because we have to drop our customers off in a safe place and that is what that taxi park is supposed to be for.”

Karen and her driver have made a statement to police.

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