Warning over Shropshire taxi availability as demand surges amid rail strike

Taxi firms have seen an increase in bookings due to the rail strike – but demand means passengers may struggle to find one.

With Shropshire's rail network shutting down completely on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, commuters are set to face disruption throughout the week.

Two taxi firms said they had seen a increase in demand for the week due to the situation – but one said the finite amount of taxis could leave some passengers frustrated.

Graham Jones, manager at Shrewsbury Taxis, said: "We will do everything we can to help passengers but the demand is set to be big and we have got a finite amount of cars and once they are fully booked they are fully booked."

The firm normally takes around 1,000 bookings a day and has been seeing more requests due to the widespread disruption.

Mr Jones said the impact of the situation was widespread and he had even had calls from a former Shropshire resident in London asking if they knew taxi firms in the capital who would be able to help throughout the week.

Go Carz, which operates across Shrewsbury, Telford, and Oswestry, said it also expected more bookings, but added that it believed it has the drivers to deal with the increase.

Go Carz regional director, Robin Gibson, said: “We are anticipating an increase in passenger numbers over the coming days and are confident that we have the driver partner capacity to handle the uplift."

But while some taxi drivers can expect more passengers, other Hackey Cab operators who cannot take bookings, said they would be badly hit by the rail strike.

About half a dozen are based at Telford's railway station and rely on rail travellers for their fares.

Mehmood Hussain said: "With no trains running there will be no passengers. With no passengers we will have no fares. We could go into the town centre to look for work or we could stay at home. It is really going to hit us hard.

Mahsood Ali said business had been slow since the country started coming out of lockdown.

He said: "When people realised they could work from home during Covid, the amount of business people who travel into Telford by train has dropped considerably. For the rest of this work, I don't think it will be worth my while even coming to the station."

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