TAXI drivers say enough is still not being done to stop motorists blocking off a layby they use to pick up customers using a supermarket.

Members of the Private Hire Association in Basildon want the enforcement action to be taken at a layby, in Southernhay, outside the Asda store in the Eastgate Shopping Centre.

The layby is only supposed to be used by taxis, registered as quality passenger transport vehicles, to pick up and drop off shoppers at the store.

However, a large number of unauthorised cars and vans regularly park in the area, reducing space for the cabs.

Despite asking for action to be taken for nearly five years, no enforcement has been put in by Essex County Council.

Dave Downtown, chairman of the Basildon Private Hire Association, said something needed to be done urgently.

Mr Downtown said: “We have been banging on about this and getting some form of enforcement put in for about five years now.

“It is really beneficial for us to use the layby, but there are times when we just cannot get in there and it is costing us business.”

Another taxi driver, Ralph Morgan, said the problem had got to the point where cabbies were having to pick up shoppers in a nearby dual carriageway, which is against the law.

Ralph Morgan said: “We cannot get in because people just park their cars or their vans in the layby. This has forced us to pick passengers up from the dual carriageway which is illegal, so we are putting ourselves at risk.

“They have put a sign up saying the lay-by is restricted for certain vehicles only, but nobody pays attention to it.”

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “Only those holding a Quality Taxi Partnership permit are permitted to park in this area. Parking is policed by the Essex Parking Partnership and anyone who parks in this area without a permit is at risk of receiving a penalty charge notice.”