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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Latest: Taxi disruption is ongoing at Dublin Airport

Services have been withdrawn over a dispute about the number of parking spaces for drivers at the airport. It was thought that a resolution had been reached but taxi services continue to be disrupted.

Taxis at Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 (File photo)
Taxis at Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 (File photo)
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 7.40pm

A DISPUTE OVER parking spaces for taxi drivers operating at Dublin Airport continues to see taxi services at the airport disrupted this evening.

Talks between driver representatives and the Dublin Airport Authority are ongoing, and a taxi spokesperson has told TheJournal.ie that it is hoped that a resolution will come tonight.

Earlier it was understood that discussions between the two parties in the dispute – taxi representative groups and the DAA – had yielded a resolution whereby drivers would resume services but this has not happened.

Taxi drivers decided to stop picking up passengers at Dublin Airport just after lunchtime today and Dublin Airport Authority said it was directing passengers to alternative modes of transport.

Taxi drivers withdrew services this morning in dispute over DAA’s amendment to the temporary overflow area for taxis at the airport which saw the number of parking spaces there reduced.

In a statement, the DAA said: “DAA held a meeting with a number of taxi driver representatives this afternoon. Based on discussions at that meeting, the taxi representatives informed DAA that normal service would be resumed at the airport.

“Regrettably, this has not happened, and taxi drivers are still refusing to pick up fares at the airport.”

Following meetings between airport authorities and a number of taxi driver representative groups this afternoon it was understood that normal service would be resumed and there would be further meetings between the two parties later this week or next week.

But this has not happened and there continues to be no taxi services from Dublin Airport this afternoon. David McGuinness, the chairman of Tacsaí Timonaí na hEireann (TTNH), said that drivers had given no assurances that they would return to work.

McGuinness told TheJournal.ie that until the DAA gave back the spaces to drivers they will not return to work. ”We haven’t got the right to tell people to go back to work,” he said.

“The drivers have made the decision that they want the whole parking area returned to them.”

DAA said that the amendment to the overflow area – which will result in 60 to 70 fewer spaces – was for commercial reasons and said that it had informed taxi drivers a month ago that this was to happen.

The taxi representative group, Tacsaí Timonaí na hEireann (TTNH), claims that in the early hours of Monday morning DAA removed 80 parking spaces from the overflow area.

This area holds around 170 taxis at Dublin airport in addition to 12 lanes for cars picking up customers from the airport.

“They removed the spaces without any consultation, without offering any alternatives,” a TTNH spokesman told TheJournal.ie this afternoon.

But a DAA spokesperson said this was not the case, telling TheJournal.ie: “We informed the taxi drivers about a month ago that this was going to happen.”

Terminal 2

When DAA opened Terminal 2 in late 2010, it added almost 60 extra taxi spaces at the taxi rank.

Taxi drivers pay €440 per year for a permit to operate at Dublin Airport and the representative group claims the DAA is not honouring the contract and accused them of “bully boy tactics” in removing the spaces.

Around five representative groups have been in discussion with DAA this afternoon and some form of resolution was thought to have been agreed but taxi drivers have not resumed work.

McGuinness did not say when they would go back to work but said that another meeting was scheduled for Friday.

In a statement the DAA said: “Taxi drivers have this afternoon arbitrarily decided to stop picking up passengers at Dublin Airport.

“The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) regrets the significant inconvenience to our customers resulting from this unilateral action and has asked taxi drivers to resume picking up passengers at the airport as soon as possible. DAA staff are currently directing passengers to alternative modes of transport.

“DAA held a meeting with a number of taxi driver representatives this afternoon. Based on discussions at that meeting, the taxi representatives informed DAA that normal service would be resumed at the airport. Regrettably, this has not happened, and taxi drivers are still refusing to pick up fares at the airport.

“The decision to suspend services appears to be related to the fact that DAA is currently amending a temporary overflow area for taxis at the airport. DAA first informed taxi representatives of this decision about a month ago.

“The amendment to taxi space provision at the airport will mean that taxi drivers will have exactly the same number of spaces this year as they had in 2010, despite the number of airport taxi permit holders declining by more than 300 during the same period.

“DAA created the temporary overflow area for taxi drivers in 2010, prior to the opening of Terminal 2. This temporary overflow, which can accommodate about 170 vehicles, is in additional to the normal taxi holding area which accommodates more than 400 vehicles. There are also spaces for taxis at the ranks at each terminal.

“The amendment to the overflow, which is required for commercial reasons, will result in 60-70 fewer vehicles being accommodated in that area. When T2 opened in late 2010, it added almost 60 extra taxi spaces at the T2 rank. There are currently about 1,560 airport taxi permits and in total, DAA provides about 600 spaces for taxis at the airport.

“DAA is happy to discuss this issue further with taxi driver representatives and asks that normal taxi services be resumed at the airport as soon as possible.”

- Additional reporting by Emer McLysaght

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Hugh O'Connell

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