Taxi drivers are backing a politician’s campaign to get the Scottish Government to help them through the Covid crisis.
Dumfries-based MSP Colin Smyth is urging Holyrood to shell out cash payments to drivers and firms who have suffered a savage drop in takings since March.
Taxis are being forced to limit the number of passengers in their cars with no one allowed in the front alongside the driver.
And with a complete slump in weekend work due to pub and restaurant closures under various measures combined with a host of hospitality venues going out of business, the situation has been grim.
One driver, Brian Patterson, of BP Taxis in Kirkcudbright, told how his business had dropped to virtually nothing at the weekend when it used to be the busiest time.
He now relies on a school contracts plus fares from regular bookings.
Brian, who won the shirt sponsorship draw with Queen of the South, said: “I have two cars but one is off the road right now because there is just not the amount of business to keep it going.
“I am lucky here and have a couple of school runs during the week which is good and I just try to look after my regulars and locals.
“It is hard going but I know it is tougher for other firms and I was reading recently about big Glasgow companies suffering especially with pubs opening up then closing down again.
“One driver I read about in Glasgow had worked an 18 hour day for just £30 which would basically cover his fuel. It’s terrible.
“I have no work at the weekend and finish early on Friday and Saturdays now when in the past it was the busy time.”
He added: “I clean down the cab and sanitise after every journey and always wear a mask.
“I have not seen any official Scottish Government guidelines but Dumfries and Galloway Council have been really good and gave out instructions to sanitise and for drivers to always wear face coverings.
“I fully support the campaign (by Mr Smyth) to back the taxis.”
Mr Smyth, who is also Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman,…