Arrow Cars faces black cab anger over exclusive Manchester Airport deal
Arrow Cars’ exclusive contract to operate private hire services at Manchester Airport could face a court challenge from local black taxi drivers.
The five-year deal was awarded to Leeds-based taxi business Arrow in April. The firm is investing £700,000 in a new fleet of vehicles which operate from pick-up points from the airport’s three terminals.
But now the black cab drivers are threatening Manchester City Council with legal action over what they claim are anti-competitive practices at the Airport. The taxi drivers are complaining about Manchester Airport’s website booking facility for taxis, as well as its booking kiosks in the three main terminals, which it says favour Arrow Cars at the expense of rivals.
A lawyer acting for the Manchester Cab Committee said he would apply for a judicial review of Arrow Cars’ operating licence. He said: “The Committee will argue that the way that Arrow Cars are allowed to operate is outside the law. There is significant case law on the points that we are raising that we believe support our case. Manchester City Council has not said it is willing to sit down with us, and in the absence of any negotiations then we have no option but to proceed down the legal route.”
But a spokesman for Manchester City Council told the Manchester Evening News: “Our licensing officers regularly monitor the activities of private hire firms based at the airport and we have no evidence to suggest that licensing laws are being broken.” Arrow Cars also operates private hire services at Leeds-Bradford Airport and East Midlands Airport.