Wycombe taxi drivers say they will lose half of their town-centre business when the Tesco store closes as part of changes introduced under the Western Sector development.

The drivers already feel hard done by because a system is being phased in whereby they will need to replace private cars with London-style black cabs. The cabs cost around £25,000 to buy and the drivers say the vehicles are not ideally suited to the town's hilly terrain.

But the cabbies are set to suffer further problems since Tesco lost its High Court battle in July to keep the town centre branch.

Wycombe District Council is to compulsorily purchase the supermarket to make way for a new development, but the cabbies say half their town-centre trade comes from the taxi rank outside the store.

Mohammed Arif, 61, from Sussex Close, High Wycombe, said: "How can we manage to buy black cabs when we are losing business when Tesco shuts? We are living hand-to-mouth to buy the cars at the moment and it is going to get worse."

A spokesman for Wycombe District Council said: "The approved plans for the Western Sector include the provision of a new taxi rank integrated with the relocated bus station close to the site of the proposed library."

See Friday's Bucks Free Press for full story.