After six long years, Appie Kuiper, owner of Taxi Centrale Oldambt (TCO), has reason to celebrate. Since this week, taxis have been given access to the Market Square in Winschoten to wait for passengers. The Groningen taxi operator is very happy with this change. “We did have a small party.”

“We are very happy with it”, Appie Kuiper says to TaxiPro when asked. “In the past, we had to buy an exemption permit to be allowed to stand on the Market Square. Such an exemption card costs about one hundred euros. If, like us, you have six taxis, it will cost six hundred euros. At a certain point I realized that other large transport companies did not pay for such an exemption. Then I won’t pay for it anymore, I thought to myself.”

Smooth chat This view resulted in a battle of a total of six years with the municipality of Oldambt. “I have had discussions about this with the municipality, the mayor and the police. In the end they tolerated it. But if you met an officer who wanted to report it, you always got the short end of the stick. Then you just got a fine of 24 euros. That was never a problem for me, because I do have a smooth chat. But I was always sent away. Actually, we were sent away because we earned our living there. That’s how it went for years. Fortunately, we received the redeeming phone call this week. Then we did have a small party.”

During that phone call, Kuiper was informed that taxis will be closed from this week 24/7 gain access to the Market Square in Winschoten. The reason why taxis were not welcome on the square for so long? “Because it was a pedestrian area,” explains the TCO owner. “The square had also been overhauled at the time. The old taxi ranks were all gone. At first they wanted to build stands for about one or two taxis, but that is of no use to us. Then I said to the municipality: just give us access to the Market Square. Then we line up neatly and nobody bothers us.”

Win-win situation Now taxis since So this week they will have access to the Market Square, Appie Kuiper speaks of a win-win situation. “In the old place where we used to be, people actually experienced nuisance. I think that the people who live in those apartments are also very happy with this, because that nuisance is now gone. What other benefits are there? It has now become easier, especially for the hospitality industry. If they want to get rid of a customer, such a pub owner now sees the taxis and can bring that person to us. Things are finally going as they should in the municipality of Oldambt”, concludes a satisfied Kuiper.

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