TAXI drivers in Brynmawr claim they have lost two-thirds of their business for the week as funfair rides at the town’s midsummer fair have taken up most of their taxi rank.
The taxi rank, in Station Road, can usually hold 16 taxis but the reduction in size has left space for just six cars, causing “big problems” for drivers.
Self-employed taxi driver Mike Powell, 54, said he took only £20 on Monday and the same on Tuesday.
Wayne Hodgins, chairman of the Brynmawr Town Partnership, which runs the event, said he held a consultation with taxi drivers and a smaller rank was agreed on.
But Mr Powell, who has been a taxi driver for four years, said: “Our rank has been taken up by the fair. We have been chucked into the corner just on the entrance of the taxi rank.
“We can’t get in line and we’re parking on the banks. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
As the secretary of a Royal British Legion branch, Mr Powell said he speaks to a lot of older people, many of whom are staying away from the town while the fair is on.
He added: “They’re putting everything off until the following week. There’s not many people about because of the fair.
“One driver said he took £5.60 all day.”
Mr Hodgins added: “In a consultation with the taxi drivers we all agreed there would be a smaller taxi rank. We had special signage made to our costs and I know some of the fairground operators have given the taxi drivers free tickets for some of the rides for their children or grandchildren.
“With 500 to 600 people a night in the town, we feel they should be taking more business.
“They may be a bit frustrated, they’ve got to do a bit more manoeuvring, but I offered them two locations. As the organiser I’m very sympathetic.
“I’ve talked to them most mornings and the feedback has been that it is a bit congested. At the end of the day, if you don’t bring something into Brynmawr we’ll have nothing.
“I feel that I’ve done as much as I can. If they’ve still got concerns, I’m happy to sit down with them before next year’s fair.”
Brynmawr Midsummer Fair runs until tomorrow.