A NEWPORT taxi driver has said he is “lucky to be alive” after a rock smashed his taxi window while he was behind the wheel.

Lionel Morris, the chairman of Newport Hackney Taxi Driver Association, was driving along Chepstow Road, in Newport, on Monday night, when he heard a loud smash.

He said he initially thought “a car had hit the taxi”. “I swerved because it felt as if another car had hit mine,” said Mr Morris.

The independent taxi driver, who has been in the business for 25 years, said he felt he was “lucky to be alive”.

“They smashed the side window where a passenger could sit,” he added

“I often have passengers sat in that seat - luckily no-one was there this time.

“If the rock had hit my window I could have been killed.

“And what would have happened if I had crashed and hit someone?”

He added: “I’m just thankful that no-one was crossing the road at the time.”

Mr Morris said that “on several occasions” he has had items - notably rocks - thrown at his taxi.

“This is the first time that a window has been smashed,” he said.

“But what was worse is that the same night my taxi was attacked rocks were also thrown at other taxis. It is disgusting.”

Last month, the Argus reported how Newport taxi drivers packed Newport council’s chambers to share their concerns over issues they face - including anti social behaviour.

Mr Morris said: “I may arrange another meeting with other drivers to talk about this.

“But at the moment I’m offering a £50 reward for information which leads to the successful conviction of the culprit.”

A spokeswoman from Gwent Police confirmed damage had been caused to the window of a taxi at approximately 8.20pm.

She added: “An area search was conducted by officers shortly afterwards and enquiries are on-going at this time.

“We are aware of the concerns raised of similar incidents and we would like reassure residents we do take reports of this nature very seriously.

“Anti-social behaviour is a priority for us and we are working with our partners to address this problem.

“A patrol plan is in place for these areas and we have increased visible patrols due to reports of crime and anti-social behaviour.”

If anyone as any information regarding this incident call 101 quoting log: 500 13/02/2017.