Fianna Fáil City Councillor, Paul McAuliffe has said that Dublin risks returning to the pre-deregulation levels of people waiting for taxis as a result of rocketing motor insurance premiums which is forcing many to leave the industry.

The Dublin North West General Election candidate was commenting after being inundated by complaints from many Dublin residents who over the past number of weeks have been left waiting for taxis, and in some cases having been forced to walk home to suburbs as far away as Finglas and Santry.

“Not since the early 2000s have I heard so many stories of people waiting at taxi ranks for a lift home.

“I’ve spoken to many taxi drivers, and the story is the same. Many are leaving the business because the cost of their motor insurance is continuing to rise.

“In one instance, a man interested in putting a disability-friendly taxi on the road was unable to even get a quote for insurance.

“There was a lot of noise made earlier this year about the Cost of Motor Insurance Working Group recommendations. While the rise in premium prices for motorists has slowed, the same cannot be said for those in need of commercial, taxi insurance.

“We cannot go back to the time when getting a taxi was a lucky dip on a weekend night. It’s bad for everyone, and it, unfortunately, can lead to people’s personal safety being put at risk if they are forced to walk home.

“It might be not the most popular thing to say but Ministers D’Arcy and Donohoe need to do more for taxi drivers, and ensure that they aren’t forced out of the business because of market-restricting premium prices.

“Dubliners need a functioning taxi industry. It cannot become a luxury like it was in the past. It’s a core requirement for a modern, open, European capital city,” concluded McAuliffe.