Gatwick taxis go green

Gatwick Airport’s official taxi company is going green.

Airport Cars Gatwick, which has been operating at the airport for more than five years, plans to replace all its taxis with electric or hybrid alternatives by 2020 – a first for any UK airport. The move is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 75%.

The company, which currently has 250 cars, will begin trialing electric and hybrid vehicles over the next few months before beginning the replacement of its current cars.

Complaints allege illegal taxis operated at Gatwick

Complaints have been made about alleged breaches of the taxi licensing law at Gatwick Airport.

The Unite Union reports that licensed Gatwick taxi drivers have alleged that cabs illegally operated out of Gatwick Airport on 11 October, at the arrangement of Gatwick taxi company Airport Cars.

Airport Cars allegedly used taxis from other companies owned by themselves and licensed by boroughs other than Crawley, to deal with unusually high demand caused by an incident at the train station.

Unite also reports that drivers have been complaining about bullying and threats from management. Drivers have told of how they had been threatened with the sack for joining a trade union, had been ignored over health and safety concerns caused by their electronic PDA handsets they are expected to use whilst driving, and have been expected to pay thousands of pounds to upgrade the airport taxi fleet, without negotiation or help.

Jen Parker, Unite regional officer, said: “In allegedly operating in breach of their licenses, drivers could have invalidated their insurance, and passengers would have been put at risk.

“If true, this sort of cowboy behaviour is completely unacceptable at Britain’s second largest airport.

“We have tried to negotiate with Airport Cars and to provide a voice for these drivers but the company refused to talk to us. It is a basic right for workers to form trade unions and express themselves collectively, and this right is being trampled over by this company, under the noses of Gatwick Airport Limited.”