Taxi drivers have described chaotic scenes as cabbies compete for business outside a nightclub.

They say the lack of a proper taxi rank and police presence outside Club 195 in Cottis Lane, Epping, has led to dangerous behaviour by some.

Azid Famu, spokesman for the Taxi Driver’s Association in Epping Forest, said: “On the weekends it’s like a jungle outside the club. There are regularly unlicensed cabs turning up and drivers are like touts.

“Rather than sit in the cab and wait for customers, they get out and start crowding round passengers asking if they want a cab.

If the council put in a rank, drivers would have to become more orderly and passengers would be dealt with first come first served.”

Licensed taxi driver, Abdullah Al-Mamun agreed and called for a police presence outside the club.

He said: “There will be five or six drivers competing for two customers, trying to offer the best deal. It's not good for the hackney carriages, as it just looks like touting.”

“There are hardly any police around. Both licensed and unlicensed drivers park their car illegally, blocking the one way street, and I have been pushed by drunken customers.”

Last month a taxi driver was run over after a dispute with an unlicensed cab driver, leaving him with neck and arm injuries. No arrests have been made, but investigations are on-going. 

Police Inspector Andy Fucher said: “We discussed the option of the CCTV van with taxi drivers but the van is currently in use at other areas.

“Unfortunately I cannot put officers outside every pub or club in Epping, we don’t have the resources. However, we will continue to work with the taxi drivers on the issue.”

A spokesman for Epping Forest District Council said: “The responsibility for making taxi ranks lies with Essex County Council and requests have been made to them to provide adequate ranks, but they are yet to be accommodated.”