TAXI drivers at a Colchester train station were left waiting hours for a single customer as they felt the impact of today's railway strikes.

Taxi drivers Henry, Paul and Lorence were previously used to ferrying north Essex commuters to and from Colchester North Station.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, however, they say work has dried up due to less people using trains and more residents working from home.

This morning, the trio was dealt another blow when the biggest railway strike for 30 years significantly reduced the number of people needing a taxi from the station.


Henry said: “We have had one job out of here since 6am and we have not moved - we are paying a £1,300 fee a year to just sit here.

“The car park is three quarters empty and the bike racks used to be solid but look at it now - even on a busy day in the car park it is not even remotely half full.

“We are losing out and there are some days here where we are not even earning the minimum wage but the train drivers are getting very well paid.

“And my fuel costs have now doubled but I am still earning the same money.”

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Although the train strike will hurt the taxi drivers to a certain extent, Paul believes it will be a breeze in comparison to what they have suffered since the pandemic.

“We have always been told we pay stupid amounts of money because of how many people travel from here,” he added.

“Well, people are not travelling from this station anymore and they haven’t done for the last three years so how can they expect us to pay the same amount of money?


“A week of this is nothing compared to what we have gone through with the pandemic.

“But during Covid, when there were basically no trains running, there was still 40-odd train station workers standing around on the platforms doing nothing.”

Lorence, however, believes it is wrong to begrudge the railway workers taking part in the strike, but would like to pay a smaller fee to be positioned outside the station.

“It is wrong for us to bring the train drivers down because we are earning less than them,” he said.

“But if the number of travellers has fallen then we should get a discount as well.”