AN ANGRY security guard has hit out at taxi drivers who leave vulnerable people stranded because the ride is 'too short' to be worth their trouble.

Nur Abdolkhani who runs his own security business in Worcester says he had personally been refused taxis at the rank in The Cross, Worcester, five or six times in the last two months. But he is more concerned about the welfare of vulnerable people, some the worse for drink, being turned away and having to walk home late at night.

The 33-year-old of Alma Street, off Droitwich Road, Worcester, believes taxi drivers at the rank claim they are already 'booked' because of the relatively short distance involved (a £4 fare in his case). But he says the same thing is happening to other people who are vulnerable, some of whom he has tried to help into a taxi while working as a security guard outside Chicks, very near the rank.

Mr Abdolkhani, a director of security firm 3SG Limited, said drivers do not turn people away when a taxi marshal is working in the city centre.

Taxi marshals have been in operation since Worcester BID launched in April 2010, operating at the taxi rank in The Cross between 10.30pm on Saturdays and 4.30am Sunday morning helping vulnerable members of the public with assistance, preventing anti-social behaviour including queue jumping.

Mr Abdolkhani said: "The drivers say they're booked. It is a problem for people taking short journeys who then have to walk. As some people are drunk and walking anything can happen. They could be raped or robbed. I don't think it's fair. It's not right. To see someone standing there with no taxi to take them makes me angry. I have seen vulnerable girls get in the taxi and then get out. They say it's booked. I tell them it's not."

Mr Abdolkhani said he had tried to help people into two or three taxis on the same night only to see people turned away.

He said: "They say they're booked but I know they're lying. If they were booked why did they ask me where I was going?"

A spokesman for Worcester City Council said: "It is against the law to refuse a fare without just cause. It's not just down to a whim. The law is you cannot refuse a fare." She said drivers could refuse customers if they were very drunk or behaving in a disorderly manner but not because of the distance of a journey. So far the city council has not received any formal complaints.

Lesley Borthwick, chairman of Worcester Taxi Drivers Association, said: "If people do have difficulty I would take their badge and their number and report them to the council because what they're doing is wrong."

Those who do wish to complain can do so online by visiting or by calling 01905 722233.