Three girls refused taxis in the wake of a spate of sexual assaults

They were all told their journeys were too short


Taxi drivers have reportedly turned away three women, each a different instance, during a spate of sexual assaults in Cardiff.

They were left stranded in the city centre in the early hours of the morning.

Hannah, a Cardiff uni Biology grad, said: “It’s always been like this, we could never get a taxi back to Cathays because it was too close for the fare.”

Chair of the Cardiff Hackney Cabs Association has hit back saying “that’s not true at all”, but these women have told The Tab differently


Taxis refused to take women home on the weekend

Hannah, 25, Cardiff University Biology grad

Hannah has been living in Cardiff for six years since she started university. On Saturday night after the rugby, Hannah and her friends tried to get a taxi back to their home, but were denied one and had to ask for the police for help.

Hannah claims: “It’s always been like this, we could never get a taxi back to Cathays because it was too close for the fare.

“We went out to the rugby on Saturday and thought we would be able to get back in ease, but it took us over an hour and had to get police intervention to get someone to finally agree to take us home.

“The lights were on, they were winding down the windows, they would ask you where you’re going, as soon as you say ‘I’m going to such and such’, they’d say “sorry I’m fully booked”, and wind the window back up and pull forward to talk to someone else.”

According to Hannah, the police were “swamped with it”, calling them “powerless and overwhelmed”.

After being rejected from several taxis for no reason, Hannah started taking photos of the license plates. She said: “We took pictures of some of the taxis that refused us in the town but the police actually told him to take us and he refused. The policeman said: ‘I’m taking your number down and reporting you’ and the taxi drivers reply was “go ahead”. There was nothing they could do.”#

Hannah was also disappointed with the Cardiff Students’ Union’s promise to get all it’s members home safely. She commented: “I know the Union has been liaising with the traffic people at the moment and they’ve said that since the attacks have happened, everyone from Cardiff Uni will be guaranteed a lift home, but my friend was at the Union on Saturday night and it took her six taxis to be agreed to take her home.

“They had to pay a large fee up front before they’d let them get in the car. There was a group of five of them and four of them lived together, one of the girls lived about two streets away and when they got in the taxi they asked him “can you just pull down here to let one of the girls out” and he refused, unless they paid him an extra five pounds, and when they refused to pay extra he told them she would just have to walk home on her own.”

The SU guaranteed that everyone would get home safely

Finally on Hannah and her friends’ way home to Taff’s Well, where they now live, the taxi driver told them they would have to pay £25 for their journey because it was too short a distance for him to drive, even though it is 6 miles from the city centre. Arguing this was too much, Hannah asked him to turn on the metre, which he refused to do, resulting in Hannah having to ask for assistance from a police officer.

Hannah said: “I was livid. I understand that they’re there to make money but they’re also there to keep people safe. They always say ‘oh you only live twenty minutes away, just walk.'”

Chelsea, 22, Assistant Manager at The Urban Tap House

Chelsea finished work at 4am and called a taxi to take her home, which is around 20 minutes away from the city centre. She had never had trouble getting a taxi before, however on Friday Chelsea was surprised at the response she got from the company.

Chelsea said: “They’ve never had an issue picking me up from work before, but the response I got after asking was “we do not pick up from any pubs or clubs in the town centre, if you want to get picked up, you have to walk to a major landmark”.

“I then hung up and rang back two minutes later and shouted at them.

“The next day I rang them and they said that was absolutely not a policy they had and they were going to look back through the recordings of the calls as I should have been picked up.”

Chelsea thinks universities should be doing more to prevent attacks

When asked if they should be doing more to prevent attacks, Chelsea said: “Yes, every year we have thousands more students coming into the city. The police and universities should be doing everything they can to make these people feel safe in a new city.

“To be honest, about 90 per cent of taxis are great. The other 10% are the definitively not being cooperative. Hopefully that will change.”

Hannah, 28, Events Manager at Bunker

On Thursday, Hannah and two work mates successfully got a taxi at 3am from outside Pulse, the driver even insisted he took all  three, even Hannah who had her bike with her. He dropped them off at their houses and refused a tip from Hannah for helping her with her bike.

On Friday, Hannah and some work friends got another taxi home, however it took five attempts after being repeatedly rejected for no good reason.

On Saturday, Hannah was forced to walk home alone. She said: “On Saturday night, we were point-blank refused repeatedly. The police on the street weren’t from Cardiff and had apparently been brought in from Neath and Bridgend, so when we stopped them to ask which rank had the smallest que, or which one had the least trouble, they weren’t really sure of location and weren’t much help with advising us where would be safest to go.”

Hannah resulted to calling male friends who were also walking home. However after dropping her sister off, she was thirty minutes away from home. Hannah added: “I rang a taxi for myself from her house but no one answered, so I ended up walking across Cathays and Roath to Pen-Y-Lan on my own, absolutely terrified.

“It distresses me greatly that a city I have felt safe in and called home the last five years, is now somewhere I feel threatened and unsafe.

“One friend wouldn’t get taken home from work and when protested because of the assaults last week was told “no one will attack you anyway.””

Taxis have been refusing to take girls home despite the recent attacks

Hannah accepts that Mathab Khan, Cardiff Hackney Carriage Association’s chairman, has defended his drivers, but it is clear his words were not taken on board by the sheer amount of men and women on social media on Sunday morning complaining about taxi companies.

When asked what more could be done to ensure people get home safe, Hannah said: “The police presence was definitely appreciated around the SU and on the way in to town and did make us feel safer, however, when people are walking home, that’s potentially when they’re more vulnerable. So more presence throughout the early hours in Roath and Cathays would perhaps be beneficial too.”