Wolverhampton drivers protest Go Carz U-turn on fares hike
Leading Midlands private hire operator Go Carz has become embroiled in an increasingly bitter dispute with its drivers after it backed out of an agreement to raise minimum fares for any journey in Wolverhampton from £2.80 to £3.50.
Drivers in Wolverhampton have launched a protest against GoCarz, fearing they would be out of pocket as a result. The drivers claim they will only be paid £4 an hour for their work which often sees them driving all week, including weekends. Around 50 drivers protested outside the Go Carz offices last month.
The deal was agreed in January between the drivers, Go Carz, taxi firm ABC Cars and Wolverhampton council officials. But Go Carz boss Carl Wilday said he had pulled out of the plan as the price rise could have led to a drop in earnings, not a rise.
“Our main priority has always been our customers, but we are also focused on our drivers’ earnings,” he said. “Our view is that the price rise they are proposing would lead to a drop in customers which would actually lead to an overall reduction in their earnings rather than an increase.”
Wilday added he was still considering his company’s position. “Our drivers are very important to us so we are still considering the fare structure to ensure it works for everyone,” he said.
Go Carz is one of the leading operators in the Midlands.It operates 700 cars in Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Telford and Stafford, and was ranked number 8 in the 2015 ProDriver 100 league of UK operators.
Sonny Dhillon, of Wolverhampton Private Hire Taxi Association, said: “Go Carz are playing about with people’s lives. Since their presence in Wolverhampton, they have increased the number of drivers by 30-35% in the past five years. They've taken those drivers on even though there’s not enough work to sustain them.”
The deal is still on the table, but cannot be implemented until all parties agree. Until the situation is resolved, the drivers are planning further protests.