cap on taxi numbers in Dundee has been
lifted, but only for those willing to
run a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
a scathing official report which claimed
that more than 200 of Dundee's taxis
could be operating illegally, the limit
on the number of taxis in the city has
been lifted. The decision by
Dundee City Council's licensing
committee ironically came on the day
that the Office of Fair Trading
recommended the nationwide lifting
on numerical restrictions.
would-be taxi operators will only be
granted licenses to operate wheelchair
accessible vehicles (WAVs), since a
major factor behind the decision was the
paltry number of such vehicles in the
city - around 2% of the total taxi
fleet. The WAV requirement will
also cover replacement vehicles.
opposition from taxi trade
representatives, the committee
unanimously adopted 'option four', which
would also remove the incentive to illegally
rent plates on the black
market. The 'option three' favoured
by the trade involved fixing a new limit
on numbers and surveying demand for WAVs,
but a council official pointed out that
this would be difficult to assess given
the possibility of suppressed demand
caused by the current dearth of WAVs
plying for hire in the city, and would
also act as a barrier to implementation
of the Disability Discrimination Act.
the specification of the 'accessible
vehicle' requirement adopted by the
committed has yet to be finalised, it
seems that it will less stringent than
the London-style taxi requirement in
Glasgow and Edinburgh, and will include
'alternative' vehicles such as the
Eurotaxi and Volkswagen Caravelle.
Dundee Taxi Cab Company, which had
revolutionised the trade in Dundee with
the introduction of a fleet of silver
Mercedes private hire vehicles, had
previously promised to invest in 70
wheelchair accessible LTI TX2s if
granted taxi licenses.
Dundee Taxi Association were reported to
be taking legal action on the matter.
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