Sheffield cabbies in dispute with dog stadium

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Black cab drivers in Sheffield were reported to police after staging a protest when told they could not pick up fares from Owlerton Stadium.

Cabbies say they have been picking up passengers from the stadium’s car park for years.

But now they say they have been told they must not enter the car park – even though they are allowed to drop race-goers off before events.

However, the stadium’s owners say they have never allowed taxis to tout for business in the car park and said drivers who became aggressive when told to move on had been reported to police.

But one cabbie told The Star: “I have been picking up fares after races for 20 years without any problem whatsoever.

“However, now I have been told I cannot enter the car park.

“Instead they say I must park up on the road which is a considerable distance for passengers to walk, especially those who are elderly or disabled.”

John Gilburn, managing director of stadium owners A&S Leisure, said the cabbies were in the wrong.

He said: “We operate a private car park for the customers of Owlerton Stadium and Napoleons Casino.

“We have had an exclusive contract with private taxi firm City Taxis for several years, and before that Mercury, to service our customers.

“Any taxi from any firm can go to the door to either drop off or collect passengers if they are pre-booked.

“Taxis have never been allowed to tout for fares at the stadium.

“Taxi drivers are aware we have a private car park and our security staff often reiterate this to taxis that turn up to tout for business.

“Last weekend, two taxi drivers became aggressive to our staff who politely asked them to leave the car park.

“They then decided to use their taxis to try to blockade the entrance to the car park, and at the same time block the whole of Livesey Street.

“The matter has been recorded on CCTV and, in addition, photographs have been taken of one of the drivers making obscene gestures.

“The drivers’ conduct has now been reported to the licensing authorities and the police and this is now a legal matter.”