A FIGHT at a station taxi rank outside a station during rush hour has brought the issues being faced by cabbies back into focus.

Police have appealed for information on a fight outside Buckhurst Hill Underground station, where punches were thrown after three men got into an argument.

Pc Justin Atkins said: “A confrontation began at the taxi rank shortly after 6pm between two men, who we believe exchanged heated words following a dispute about cars parked in the taxi rank.

“Another member of the public then became involved in the argument, which quickly escalated to violence and punches were thrown from both sides.”

Concerns have been raised in the past about too many taxi licences being issued across the district, leading to chaos outside the station.

Cabbie Azid Sanu, 34, who was at the station when the fight took place on May 29, said: “The question of the council handing out too many licences is still there.

“There are far too many licensed taxis and more and more are coming.

“But Buckhurst Hill is not too crowded.”

Hasam Hayirli, 32, who was also working on the evening of the fight, said: “I was right in front of the station, in the car, and I heard voices and turned my head.

“It was a busy time and was rush hour. I had to take a customer.”

He said the problem of too many taxi drivers in the district had been solved when the council introduced knowledge tests similar to those taken by London cabbies.

“There’s no trouble getting a space now,” he added. “It’s harder to get a licence.”

A row erupted between independent taxi drivers and those attached to a cab office outside Loughton station last year and many drivers have called for more spaces to be made for all drivers.

Epping Forest District Council agreed to try and find more taxi ranks after consulting drivers in April.

- Police arrested a 42-year-old man from Loughton, a 36-year-old man from Blackwall and a 36-year-old man from Dagenham over the fight in Buckhurst Hill and released them on bail until Thursday (June 28).

- Anyone with information on the incident should call British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting reference B6/LUA of June 16 2012.

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