Cardiff taxi drivers still refusing girls short journeys home

One driver laughed in a student’s face when she said she was scared of being raped


A whole year later and it seems taxi drivers in Cardiff are still refusing short journeys. Following the string of sexual assaults this time last year and the consequent media coverage of shocking taxi services in Cardiff, it seems nothing has changed.

We spoke to student Lydia about her experience with one company who she thought she could trust. One driver told Lydia and her friends not to speak in the taxi and when they laughed once he threw them out and refused to take them any further.

She said “they completely ripped us off”. And this was after a different driver got out and “shouted abuse” at them because they “went with another company”.

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Lydia’s story is not unique. Another girl Rachel, a second year English student at Cardiff, was also refused to be taken home from Revs by two separate drivers last night in the black taxis outside the club.

She said: “I live in Riverside, so it’s not the safest area. They just kept sending me to the taxi behind, and then the guy that ended up taking me home was just laughing about it.”

Both drivers had unacceptable behaviour and appalling attitudes to the possibility of sexual assault.

“He was like ‘why don’t you just walk?’ And I said I didn’t feel safe walking and he just kept laughing and saying that nothing would ever happen.”

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In light of the recent murders on Queen Street less than two weeks ago, and the shocking assault statistics from last winter, it is outrageous that taxi drivers continue to exhibit such careless behaviour and abuse their position of power in such situations.

Their actions are irresponsible and dangerous, and it is unfair discrimination to refuse taxi journeys on the basis of the journey being too short.

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Rachel said: “It’s ridiculous how many taxi drivers refuse to take me home because I live ‘too close’. I live a ten minute walk from town, but when it’s 4am and I’m alone I shouldn’t have to compromise my safety just because a taxi driver doesn’t want to do his job.

“Nobody should feel like a burden trying to get home safe. It shouldn’t have to take a rape or a murder to open the eyes of ignorant taxi drivers.”

Some girls have already paid the price of this ignorance, don’t let there be a higher one.