TWO taxi drivers have said they will never drive in Carlisle again after hundreds of fares were taken on by Scottish taxi firms after a fallen tree cancelled trains between Carlisle and Lockerbie.

Passengers were left stranded for hours at Carlisle train station, as they waited for replacement buses and taxis to take them north.

Michael Docherty, 50, described his experience. He said: “Basically what I have seen is a lot of my lads went to different places this morning at 10.30am, but then it was like they didn’t need us anymore. Glasgow came in and they didn’t need us anymore.

"Some of my drivers are very disappointed, two are going to leave. We have asked for something to happen. It is wrong. It makes us feel like we are not being looked after by licensing."

A spokeswoman from Carlisle Taxi Association said: “Everybody feels they should get a job, but that is not how it works. If there is a problem on the line Virgin will contact whoever will supply the most drivers, they wouldn’t be able to get that from Carlisle.

“Virgin has contacted taxi companies to do that job, if our taxi drivers worked for a big Carlisle company they would have contacted them. They have decided not to do that. I can’t see why people complain about it.”

She added: “I would like to have it in Carlisle, but they haven’t chosen that.”

A statement from Virgin Trains said: “Unfortunately due to the disruption today when the West Coast Main Line was closedwe had to use replacement bus services and some taxis to transport people between Glasgow and Carlisle. We’re sorry this wasn’t the best journey but have tried to do everything we can to help people complete their journeys.”

A statement from Carlisle City Council said: “We are aware of the concerns and have spoken to officials at the railway station. They have arranged replacement transportation for the affected customers. This has included pre-booked and pre-paid taxi rides with operators from outside Carlisle. The vehicles are picking up on railway station-owned land and although we appreciate the frustration this has caused, they are not contravening any licensing laws.”