Still the odd yobbo making it hard for taxis, says director

YOU wouldn't have thought it was rocket science, but apparently there is still a minority of people who don't understand taxi drivers are just trying to do their job.

Senior Sergeant Garry Sweeney said yesterday he had seen a gradual improvement in Gladstone's CBD at closing time for the nightclubs on weekends. That slight change is due to some initiatives by community stakeholders.

However, when asked if late-night patrons were giving taxi drivers the respect they deserved, Sgt Sweeney had a simple answer: "No."

Blue and White Taxis director Allan Rowe said most passengers were just grateful for a ride home and were friendly toward their drivers.

But there was always the odd yobbo who forgot himself after a few drinks.

In particular, Mr Rowe said, migrant taxi drivers were easy targets for abuse from customers frustrated after a long night on the turps.

So the next time you are thinking about taking out your frustrations on a taxi driver, don't.

What's changed?

POLICE believe patrons are clearing out of Gladstone's CBD faster after bars close on the weekend, thanks to a new initiative.

Earlier this month, Blue and White Taxis announced it would no longer take passengers through drive-throughs at takeaway outlets between 1-4am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The move was designed to keep taxis moving during the peak time, when many patrons are left waiting on Goondoon St in the early hours of the morning.

Officer in Charge of Gladstone Police Station Senior Sergeant Garry Sweeney yesterday said he had seen an improvement since the change was made.

He had been on patrol three out of the past four weekends and said the CBD had been emptying faster.

He commended Blue and White Taxis for embracing new ideas to solve the problem.

"So far it's working," Sergeant Sweeney said. "I've actually received positive feedback from people who like (the changed rule)."

Blue and White Taxis director Allan Rowe also believed the change was slowly but surely improving service.

"It's an effort to get people out of the main street faster (after the bars close)," Mr Rowe said. "It's all to do with safety. People are now starting to accept it."

Go without

Taxis in Gladstone no longer take passengers through takeaway drive-throughs between 1-4am Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Mr Rowe said if the change reduced the time "somebody's daughter or son" is stuck on the street at night, it was worth it.