Coach and taxi drivers lobby Cambs police HQ as assistant chief constable promises fresh review into community transport allegations

Taxi drivers demonstrate outside police HQ, Huntingdon

Taxi drivers demonstrate outside police HQ, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Taxi drivers protested outside Cambridgeshire police headquarters calling for ‘fresh’ evidence to be considered into their claims about community transport operations in the county.

Taxi drivers demonstrate outside police HQ, Huntingdon

Taxi drivers demonstrate outside police HQ, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

A contingent from the recently formed Cambridgeshire Bus, Coach and Taxi Association (CBCT) handed a 30 page dossier to Supt Russ Waterston setting out their allegations.

The protest follows an earlier lobbying of Cambridgeshire County Council who promised to consider many of the points raised by the association.

Today’s protest – at Huntingdon – was restricted to two minibuses, two 7 seater taxis, and an ordinary taxi by agreement with the police.

Mark Hopkins, assistant chief constable, had earlier told the association that “on the basis of the information you have supplied, that the investigation conducted so far will be reviewed”.

Mr Hopkins was following up a visit made on his behalf last week to association representatives by Sgt Nigel Leadbetter, of the operational planning and licensing team at Parkside Police Station.

The assistant chief constable said he had received the report by Greg Page, a private investigator working on behalf of the CBCT.

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He had also received a second forensics report commissioned by the CBCT relating to handwriting analysis.

Mr Hopkins promised a police investigation would be conducted “by a suitably qualified and experienced investigator who will not be connected with the previous investigation or reviews”.

He told the CBCT: “I hope this reassures you that Cambridgeshire Constabulary is absolutely committed to ensuring we have total clarity around the investigation.”

Among those joining the protest today was county councillor Alan Lay.

The Wisbech councillor handed over a petition to Supt Waterston supporting claims for a fresh investigation into community transport.

Dave Humphrey, vice chairman of the CBCT, said his association had included in the documents evidence of alleged irregularities covering seven key areas.

“Our concerns remain very much the extraordinary expansion of community transport in Cambridgeshire, the effect this has had on our members’ livelihoods, and that massive commercial contracts are being sought and won from the county council.

“We are not against community transport – we simply want it returned to the basis on which it was originally set up.”