Health issues force taxi owner and drive Wayne Pugh to step aside

STOPPING: Wayne Pugh has had to stop driving his taxi due to health issues, meaning Ceduna is currently without a taxi service. Picture: Luca Cetta
STOPPING: Wayne Pugh has had to stop driving his taxi due to health issues, meaning Ceduna is currently without a taxi service. Picture: Luca Cetta

Ceduna’s taxi service has come to a halt and its future is in doubt as driver Wayne Pugh battles cancer.

Mr Pugh owns Ceduna Ambassador Cabs and has been the sole driver to service the region, however he is currently in Adelaide undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

His health situation means there is no taxi service running in Ceduna and that is set to continue on an indefinite basis.

Mr Pugh said he planned to return to Ceduna, but not to drive his cab.

“My life is in Ceduna so I hope to be coming home.

“However, I don’t think I will be returning to work – I am 73 years old, so beyond working anyway.”

He said the business had been placed on the market but no suitable parties had shown interest, while two drivers left town for personal reasons and were unable to be replaced.

Mr Pugh said the taxi business had been battling with other services which made the business “unviable”.

“With things happening like the MAP bus, community bus and hotel bus, it works against the taxi business and it gets no support other than from those who needed it.”

He said the free services operating in the region had made the business unviable.

Mr Pugh said he had tried to make it viable by having four taxis operating, but as they had to compete with the free services it made it that much harder.

“I tried to find somebody to take over and also other drivers and was prepared to keep it running, but nothing has been forthcoming.”

While services such as the Ceduna Community Bus run five days a week accessing major parts of the region, locations such as Ceduna Airport during arrival and departure times now lack a mode of transport.

Mayor Allan Suter said the service shutting down was a blow for Ceduna.

“It will be hard for many people who reside in Ceduna with no taxi availability, unfortunately health issues are beyond our control,” he said.

“We don’t really know at this stage how long the service will be down.”

He said while it was not a council issue, they would do what they could to help.