Taunton taxi firm denies 'ditching' claim and urge people to prepare better for nights out

Taunton taxi firm deny 'dumping' claim and urge people to prepare better for nights out

Taunton taxi firm deny 'dumping' claim and urge people to prepare better for nights out

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A TAXI firm in Taunton has hit back against claims they dumped two girls in a lay-by following a night out.

The father of one of the girls contacted the County Gazette to say his daughter was ill in the cab, run by A1 Ace Taxi, and paid the soiling charge but then claimed she was left by the side of the road with her friend near Hollywood Bowl, around a mile from her Henlade home.

The man, who did not want to be named, said he was concerned other youngsters might be put in jeopardy on their way home from a night partying in Taunton.

Matt Woodford, director at A1 Ace Taxis, said his CCTV in the car showed one of the girls being sick, paying a soiling charge before asking the driver to leave his cab despite the offer of a lift home.

He said there is a growing trend of people becoming less prepared before a night out.

He added: “It is a hard one because we do not want to drop people off early - we want to make sure they get home safe but all the drivers are self employed and work on a commission basis too, so it is difficult.

“My advice would be for people to be more prepared, 15-20 years ago people used to get a taxi in and have another booked already to go home.

“Now it is so easy to get a taxi that people forget and spend all their money on alcohol and therefore there are a lot more people walking homes these days.”

Taxi trade is licensed by Taunton Deane Council who set maximum tariffs for firms to abide to.

Adrian Prior Sankey, of the Taunton Street Pastors, said they try to help people who are vulnerable or too drunk to get home.

He said: “Most people have a great night out in Taunton and we will do what we can but it is down to the youngsters to factor their journey home and money for it into a night out.”

Mr Woodford, whose firm have 60 cars around Taunton Deane, said there are occasions when people make it difficult for drivers.

He added: “We get some people who are genuine and do not have enough money to get home but then others will try to abuse that trust and get into a cab knowing they don't have the money and try to push their luck.

“We do what we can to get people home safe.”

Comments (5)

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10:29pm Thu 23 Jan 14

TauntonBloke29 says...

Its easy. Set the price and make them pay up front. I have been to many other places where this happens. Totally unfair on the taxi firm to be blamed. Alot of young women drink and fight like men now, they often forget that they are very vulnerable still and need to take care. Hopefully the Dad had phoned the taxi firm first rather than going straight to the press??
Its easy. Set the price and make them pay up front. I have been to many other places where this happens. Totally unfair on the taxi firm to be blamed. Alot of young women drink and fight like men now, they often forget that they are very vulnerable still and need to take care. Hopefully the Dad had phoned the taxi firm first rather than going straight to the press?? TauntonBloke29
  • Score: 14

10:30pm Thu 23 Jan 14

TauntonBloke29 says...

I am not saying these girls drano and fought like men though! I am just generalising.
I am not saying these girls drano and fought like men though! I am just generalising. TauntonBloke29
  • Score: 7

10:35am Fri 24 Jan 14

Rob71272 says...

if there was a decent late bus service then taxi's would be a bit more competitive.
if there was a decent late bus service then taxi's would be a bit more competitive. Rob71272
  • Score: 5

4:07pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Dr Dave says...

If said girl didn't drink so much to the point she was sick then there would have been no problem!
If said girl didn't drink so much to the point she was sick then there would have been no problem! Dr Dave
  • Score: 2

3:47pm Sun 26 Jan 14

St. Austell says...

This article demonstrates that a number of young persons are totally irresponsible when drinking and partying in Taunton. They should be sufficiently responsible when consuming alcohol and food to ensure that they are not going to "through up" in any way in a public conveyance such as a bus or taxi – who wants the possibility of their infection being passed to other users. In the alternative they should either have a place to stay after their celebrations have ended until they are fit and able to get home or a family member to risk collecting them. In the absence of either perhaps Avon and Somerset Constabulary should provide overnight accommodation in its facility in Shuttern until they are either able to walk home or be collected.
Perhaps A1 Ace Taxis, who I have used on numerous times without problem, should have a policy of not accommodating those who are clearly inebriated for whatever reason but to refer them to “Plod”.
This article demonstrates that a number of young persons are totally irresponsible when drinking and partying in Taunton. They should be sufficiently responsible when consuming alcohol and food to ensure that they are not going to "through up" in any way in a public conveyance such as a bus or taxi – who wants the possibility of their infection being passed to other users. In the alternative they should either have a place to stay after their celebrations have ended until they are fit and able to get home or a family member to risk collecting them. In the absence of either perhaps Avon and Somerset Constabulary should provide overnight accommodation in its facility in Shuttern until they are either able to walk home or be collected. Perhaps A1 Ace Taxis, who I have used on numerous times without problem, should have a policy of not accommodating those who are clearly inebriated for whatever reason but to refer them to “Plod”. St. Austell
  • Score: 0

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