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Hyndburn Council Policy to Cut the Number of Taxis on the Road

Hyndburn Council Policy to Cut the Number of Taxis on the Road

Hyndburn Council is proposing a whole catalogue of changes in regards to taxi policy. They are in discussions with taxi companies throughout the borough, arriving at new ideas and plans that will be placed upon the industry. Many of these suggestions have been met with anger, leaving taxi drivers feeling scrutinised. Drivers in Hyndburn could be forced to buy newer cars, modify their vehicles, and remove advertisements from the body of their cars. As time has gone on the taxi has evolved but we can still see older taxis on our roads, still serving the job they were purchased to carry out. Private hire taxis older than seven years cold be taken off of the road if the council plans go through. All hackney carriages would be required to fit a swivel seat to cater to disabled passengers also. These requirements could see many taxi businesses face closure, a worry that can be located throughout the country. Another suggestion put forth is that all taxis must meet an emissions target as well as adverts on glasswork being prohibited. A spokesman for Max Cabs, in Accrington, said the move would ‘kill or cripple an already struggling trade’, and questioned the councils agenda. He said: “Taxis are exempt from MOTs, but they have an MOT-style check by the council twice a year, and three times when they reach a certain age. “They are the safest cars on the road and if they have passed the test, what does age matter?” “We carry out 25,000 journeys a week and have 400 taxis on the road between 6am and 9am taking people to school and work.” Deputy leader of Hyndburn Council, Clare Pritchard, denied the council was attacking the taxi industry to encourage residents to use the upcoming £40m Pennine Reach bus services. Coun Pritchard said: “There is nothing to retaliate against. It was a simple administrative mistake and we are paying the money back. “There’s no benefit to us whether people use the bus service or taxis, we just want the highest standard of transport in Hyndburn. “This is about providing a comprehensive plan. We have several policies hanging around and this will bring it into one complete policy. I would hope it would improve standards.” Leader of the opposition, Peter Britcliffe, called the consultation ‘bureaucracy gone mad’. He said: “This is victimising the taxi drivers. The consultation should end now and the policy should not change. “What difference does a car’s age make as long as it is fit to drive? In terms of advertising, we know it’s a very competitive market. Taxis are extremely cheap in Hyndburn so why prevent drivers from getting extra from adverts?”

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