A new taxi service has started operating in Peel.

Peel Taxis is a subsidiary of Island Taxis Limited, which has been trading from Kirk Michael for over 25 years.

Paul Heavey, manager of the business, felt that now was a good time to venture into Peel with the lack of taxi services being offered to the town.

He said he recognised that ‘Terry’s Taxis’, which was originally based in Peel, had been bought by Telecabs and was mostly serving Douglas, and he hadn’t heard of Peel-based ‘Anne’s Taxis’ operating since Christmas.

Although Paul’s in charge of the taxi firm, Danny Oxtoby is running the day-to-day operations for Peel Taxis.

The two of them have known each other for 30 years, and Paul explained that the plan to provide a local taxi service for Peel was totally unplanned.

He said: ‘Peel Taxis story started as an unplanned meeting with Danny on Peel Breakwater just after TT week this year.

‘We were reminiscing over things we used to get up to in the good old days around Peel, they really were good times and Peel holds a lot of good memories for me.

‘It turned out that my idea of starting a new local taxi service in the Peel area was very much on his mind too.

‘We thought we shouldn’t be looking back, we should be looking forward.

‘Some months earlier I had formed a subsidiary to Island Taxis Limited under the new business name “Peel Taxis” with a view of getting things up and running this year.’

Paul said that everything was in place to hit the ground running, even the phone number, which is extremely special to him.

He said: ‘The phone number, 420052, is a very special number to me as it belonged to my late father Walter Heavey.

‘Dad was a well-known taxi driver on the island for more than 30 years, and is the only ever recipient of the “Isle of Man Taxi Driver of the Year Award” back in 2009.

‘I feel very proud seeing his phone number out on the road and still working.’

After Paul and Danny met a few more times, they decided to start out slowly and test the waters, and from their first day of operating in Peel, which was earlier this month, they have been extremely busy.

Paul said: ‘It turned out that from day one we were overwhelmed with support from the Peel community.

‘So much so that we are already looking to hire additional drivers to cover more hours, and we’d love to hear from any suitably licenced and experienced drivers in the Peel area.’

Island Taxis Limited is also attempting to take advantage of the lack of taxi services in Ramsey, with Paul Heavey saying that the north has poor availability.

He emphasises that these services need to be local and community driven.

He added: ‘I was getting more and more calls for someone on the ground in both Peel and Ramsey, and I want to provide a proper local service that is community based.’

Paul said if the venture into Peel is successful, he will look at other areas of the island in the near future.