Survey ranks Blackpool’s cabbies the best in the land

A national survey has found that Blackpool taxi drivers are the best in the country.'All aboard- some of Blackpool's finest pose with Secretary of Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association Bill Lewtas (right).  PIC BY ROB LOCK'19-11-2015
A national survey has found that Blackpool taxi drivers are the best in the country.'All aboard- some of Blackpool's finest pose with Secretary of Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association Bill Lewtas (right). PIC BY ROB LOCK'19-11-2015

Blackpool’s cabbies have officially been judged the best in the land.

The resort’s taxi drivers came top of a national survey after scoring the highest marks for availability and reliability.

Often we are the first people visitors see when they arrive so it is important we give a good impression

Steve Buckley

The findings were published as part of the 2015 National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction Survey carried out by Ipsos MORI.

Several thousand households across England answered questions about transport issues.

Bill Lewtas, secretary of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association, said: “This is a great result for Blackpool taxis and private hire drivers.

“We have always known that we provide a great service.

“But to know that we have come top of this survey for the whole of England is fantastic news and the credit can justifiably be shared by every Hackney and private hire driver.”

Blackpool cabbie Steve Buckley said drivers deserved the recognition.

He said: “It shows how good the taxi service is in the town and it is about time we got some appreciation.

“The taxi trade in Blackpool is second to none for reliability and quality of vehicles.

“The testing regime means our vehicles are tested three times a year by the council.

“Drivers also have a good knowledge of the town and if there is a blockage for some reason we know the diversions and how to get round them.

“Often we are the first people visitors see when they arrive so it is important we give a good impression, but residents also rely on us all year round and we want to maintain this good service.”

Another driver Mark Forrest added: “I have always thought Blackpool has the best taxi service. We get a lot of tourists and I just think it’s a very good service we offer.

“We want to make a good impression.

“People probably don’t think we are the best and it will probably come as a bit of a shock, but we are.”

Now in its eight year, the NHT Public Satisfaction Survey is the only standardised survey of public views for the transport sector.

It is used by more than 110 councils to help them improve services.

Coun Fred Jackson (pictured), Blackpool Council’s cabinet member responsible for roads, said: “The National Highways Survey is a good barometer of what local residents think about our roads and the results for Blackpool are good again this year.

“I’m pleased to see people think very highly of our taxi services in the town, as they are an important service to help both residents and visitors to get around town.

“We have a good working relationship with the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association and, through the Highways Consultative Forum, continue to talk to them about ways we can make our transport system better for everybody.”

Blackpool was also named top performer in a number of other categories within the survey, including street lighting, enforcement of speed limits, safety of children walking to school and road safety and training of young drivers.