Arrow Cars’ Chairman David Richmond
Bdaily Business News

Arrow urges industry improvement after 'gloomy' taxi survey

One of Leeds’ biggest private hire firms has called on the industry to improve, after new research revealed standards throughout Yorkshire are among the worst in the UK.

Arrow Cars recently commissioned Populus to conduct an independent nationwide survey into the public’s opinion of the taxi and private hire industry. The results show customer dissatisfaction is widespread throughout the country but highest in Yorkshire.

Now Leeds-based Arrow Cars is launching the ‘Arrow Promise’ - a new gold standard aimed at raising standards and building a better, fairer, more transparent private hire industry.

Arrow Cars Chairman David Richmond explains: “I have to confess the research made pretty gloomy reading and in my opinion, the industry needs nothing short of a step change.

“Only a fifth of respondents in Yorkshire believed that taxi/minicab drivers are trustworthy and two thirds said they’d been overcharged in the past. Plotted against the national results, the results from the Yorkshire region were some of the worse.

“As a private hire firm which prides itself on professionalism and transparency, the public perception of our industry as a whole is a worry.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure our own house is in order, which is why we’ve pulled in the big contracts with the likes of Leeds Bradford, Manchester and East Midlands airports. But we want to start turning wider public opinion around – hence our development of the ‘Arrow Promise.’”

40% of those surveyed in Yorkshire (against 29% nationally) said they had paid more than they were originally quoted so a key part of the ‘Arrow Promise’ is a commitment to more honest and transparent fares.

The firm has introduced a guarantee that the price quoted on booking is the price customers pay. Rather than booking a car and taking a chance on the meter, Arrow will text customers the cost of their journey on booking and, provided they don’t alter their trip, the price quoted is the price they pay.

Another aspect of the private hire firm’s pledge is the promise of a clean and tidy car with a courteous driver after over a quarter of Yorkshire survey respondents said they had been picked up in an unacceptably untidy or unclean cab.

Arrow Cars recently launched a new executive service to give customers the chance to experience a more luxurious taxi experience and raise standards throughout the industry.

Arrow E Class, which includes a growing fleet of Mercedes E Class vehicles, runs alongside the company’s traditional private hire business, which has a fleet of 500 cars nationwide.

David Richmond explains: “Our E Class service, which comes with uniformed driver and complimentary 4G WIFI, puts top quality travel within the reach of a high proportion of our customers.

“Once customers start getting used to travelling at this level for only a fraction more money, it can’t fail to raise standards across the board.

“We’ve always believed in doing things differently and more professionally at Arrow and we’re determined to do our part in changing the public perception of our industry so survey results in the future tell a different story.”

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