A taxi driver from Basingstoke has been left furious after vandals targeted a memorial to fallen colleagues outside the town's railway station.

Hackney carriage driver Norman Smith said the vandalism was "vindictive" and "upsetting".

The damage was done to a tree on a traffic island at the waiting bay for taxis on Braine L'Alleud Road, outside Basingstoke station.

Norman said vandals had dug up the metal grating at the foot of a tree, made slashes in the trunk and drilled holes.

He added that someone had "poured chemicals" over the plaques dedicated to much-loved drivers who had died.

Now, the Oakridge resident has called on the council to act before it gets worse.

Before and after photos of the memorial.

Before and after photos of the memorial.

"Everyone is upset," Norman told The Gazette, "but I thought that someone has got to say something.

"We finally have had enough of it and brought it to the council. They are sending someone out to look at it.

"We don't want to cause trouble. We don't get a lot of help from our licensing [team at the council] and they would not be concerned, it is nothing to do with licensing."

Norman thinks that the vandalism is from someone with a grievance with one of the drivers, noting that there is "only a small window of opportunity" that the perpetrator could do it during the night, after the evening drivers go home and the morning drivers start.

"This tree has had it now. It is going to die.

"Just to have a a pop at us they are killing a tree."

Hackney carriage driver Norman Smith has been left upset by the vandalism

Hackney carriage driver Norman Smith has been left upset by the vandalism

The memorial is a big talking point among the drivers that spend most of their time at the station, with many recounting memories of their fallen colleagues.

It is also used by the families of the seven drivers, with Norman saying that he has seen people take birthday cards and flowers to the site.

"We respect it, but since this damage has started, you thinking is it worth it?"

But it is not just the tree and the memorial that has been affected in recent years - the taxi drivers based at the station would often keep garden chairs there that they would be able to use whilst waiting for customers.

Additionally, there used to be benches and a notice board displaying property that had been left in the cabs.

"We would be sat out here having a cuppa talking about the people who had died," Norman said on a warm, sunny summer day.

"I knew all of them, everyone did," he says, explaining who each of the seven people behind the names were.

"There are CCTV cameras, whether they picked anything up I don't know.

"It is upsetting and upsetting for the families."

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have been contacted for comment.