TRIBUTES have been paid to a former taxi driver who has died aged 66.

John Tye, who served as chairman of Bournemouth Taxi Association, died on Saturday, January 7 surrounded by his family.

He spoke to the Daily Echo a number of times over the years as a spokesperson on behalf of taxi drivers in the town, including when he stepped down from the association in July 2015.

Mr Tye was keen to speak out about issues affecting the trade, including the safety of drivers and of passengers as they waited for taxis in the town centre.

Derek Heritage from United Taxis, who worked alongside John for a number of years, said: "John was never afraid to tell people exactly what he thought and how he felt business should proceed.

"This was a great benefit to the taxi trade over many years. He represented the best interests of the cabbie but was always mindful that the taxi-using public deserved a decent service.

"John was brave enough to take any driver to task if they failed to meet his standards. The trade will miss his insight, knowledge and never ending enthusiasm. It is a sad loss."