1. ITV Report

Phone number row costs 90 jobs

Blueline taxi driver Photo: ITV News

Blueline taxis say they've had to get rid of 90 taxi drivers in Newcastle because of a row with the City Council over which phone number they can use.

The council says although Blueline is a Wallsend-based company it will have to use a separate number for its Newcastle office. The company says that would be inefficient and confusing for its passengers.

Blueline Managing Director Ian Shanks has now handed back his operator's licence for Newcastle and will concentrate on his North Tyneside operation. He says the phone number row means he's had to shelve plans to take on an extra 110 taxi drivers.

But Newcastle Council say they haven't put Blueline drivers out of work. Drivers, they say, are self-employed and eligible to work for any licensed private hire operator in the city.