Covert operations, untraceable cabs and legal loopholes: Liverpool’s broken taxi system
Liverpool is awash with private hire cabs from out-of-town. Here’s why.
Dear members — picture this: it’s a busy Friday night on Bold Street. You’ve had a few drinks with some mates and you’re calling it early — sensible. You pull your phone out, give a local cab firm a call and a few minutes later, your ride arrives. It has Wolverhampton plates. Strange, no? In today’s piece, we unpick exactly why there are so many Wolverhampton minicabs driving around Liverpool, and dig into what that means for the average Merseyside passenger.
Members, this is a big one: today marks the day The Post is no longer a diminutive one man band but a sprawling two — yes two! — piece jazz ensemble (not to forget our wonderful team of editors and freelancers). Today’s piece is by Abi Whistance, the first of many, and she’s set the bar high! If you’ve any juicy tips or leads for Abi to chase up, or just want to say hello, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: We hope you’re enjoying The Post. The support of our paying members has been incredible in the past few months, and we’ve made our way to the precipice of 1,100 members way ahead of schedule. That growth has allowed us to bring in Abi, which in turn will mean we can take on larger projects, including the kind of long-term investigations and scrutiny of institutions this region desperately needs. We can’t thank you enough. If you aren’t yet a paying member, do consider signing up today. A subscription (only £1.25 a week!) would give you access to the rest of this story, as well as 16 editions of The Post every month.
Your Post briefing
The Battle of Birkenhead is set to commence. The Wirral South constituency, represented by shadow employment minister Alison McGovern, will be scrapped due to boundary changes at the next general election, with sitting MP McGovern now set to challenge Mick Whitely, a member of the party’s socialist wing, to represent Birkenhead instead. The announcement isn’t without controversy, leftwing Labour members have questioned McGovern’s decision to not stand in the vacant Wirral West seat instead, seeing it as a direct attempt to get rid of a socialist MP, an extension of Sir Keir Starmer’s supposed purge of that wing of the party. Wirral South covers the central part of the Wirral peninsula including the towns of Heswall, Bebington and Bromborough (where ex-Labour councillor Jo Bird was victorious for the Green Party in the local council elections, interpreted as a punch on the nose for the party’s right). Are you a member of the Labour Party in Wirral and have thoughts or juicy tips about the McGovern vs Whiteley showdown? We’d love to hear them. Email email@example.com.
Paul O’Grady has been posthumously recommended to receive Wirral’s highest honour, the Freedom of the Borough. Locals have also been calling for a permanent tribute to the O’Grady’s life (More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for a statue of him to be erected in Birkenhead and the council said that the award would “recognise his years entertaining the nation, along with his dedicated activism and charity work.” Want to read the very best O’Grady tribute? Revisit Melissa Blease’s Post obituary from April, including the time she met him and he said this…”“Ah, there you are! I can hear you now, praying to God that I don’t get close enough to ask what the fuck you’ve done with your hair!”
Anglers vs netsmen: 25 smoothhound sharks washed up dead off Moreton Shore, raising concern among locals. Most believe gillnetting to be the cause, a controversial but not illegal fishing technique large walls of netting designed to allow fish to get only their head through the netting but not their body. Despite the legality, gill-netting provokes a lot of anger, and many petitions have called for it to be banned altogether. According to one local resident, there had been recent sightings of 125 dead fish in one spot. Know any more about gill-nett fishing on Merseyside and the people carrying it out? Get in touch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Abi Whistance
I’m sat in the back of a taxi at Wolverhampton train station, offering to pay a hefty fare back to my parents’ house in Staffordshire. Normally I’d bat my eyelashes and ask my dad for a lift home instead, but this time my journey serves a purpose.
My driver, Hardev, has been driving in the city for over 30 years, but in the last decade or so the pace of business has fallen off as Wolverhampton has been pedestrianised. Some of his colleagues have started accepting work in other cities, just to make ends meet.
Other cities like Southampton and Manchester. Other cities like Liverpool.
But are drivers really commuting that far to work in Liverpool every day? Surely it can’t be worth the petrol money?
Those questions are how I found myself sat in Starbucks on Myrtle Street this week, drinking lattes with two members of Liverpool’s Taxi Alliance group.
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