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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:19 pm 
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All-black plans for town's taxis

Black cabs could be the only taxis on Oldham's streets if plans to phase out saloon car operators are approved. The council decided on Monday to begin a consultation on the proposals to remove saloon cars from the taxi fleets by March 2008.

Tony Allen, head of licensing at Oldham Borough Council, said more hackney carriages would make identification easier and journeys therefore safer. Only nine black cabs currently operate in the 85-strong taxi fleet.

The changes should make taxis easier to distinguish from private hire vehicles, which must be pre-booked. The proposals also includes taxi marshals and an organised queuing systems for taxi passengers after nights out.

Drivers proficiency tests will be upgraded and operators would have to keep records of journeys.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:26 pm 
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End of the road for saloons in town taxi shake-up

Ninety per cent of Oldham’s taxis will be outlawed within three years in a shock move announced today. In the biggest shake-up of the borough’s cab service in three decades, from March, 2008, all Hackney carriages in the borough — taxis that can pick-up passengers without bookings — must be London-style black cabs.

However, of the 85-strong fleet currently operating in the borough, only nine are black cabs. Drivers of the 76 saloon cars making up the rest of the Hackney fleet face paying up to £28,000 for a black cab just to be allowed on the road. And at a time when a Hackney licence plate is fetching £45,000 on the black market, the news has met near-universal disbelief among angry cabbies.

Council licensing bosses want the bigger five-seater taxis to meet disability legislation and offer more choice in Oldham’s districts. Hackney cabs currently only operate in Royton and the town centre.

In a double whammy for drivers, further plans — set to come into force on April 1, 2006, — would see a likely doubling of the Hackney fleet by allowing 20 new licences each year. No new plates have been issued since 1991, creating a thriving black market with licences fetching as much as £45,000. The council charges only £284. The shock measures were rubber-stamped by the council’s Cabinet this morning.

Tony Allen, Head of Trading Standards in Oldham, believes there is demand for 150 Hackney taxis in Oldham — something that would massively increase competition among cabbies. Yet many insist they are already struggling for business. “It is for the market to decide how many taxis there should be”, Mr Allen said.

“Our aim is to get to a position where the number of vehicles on the road meets the demand. The current situation is not sustainable. “We have so few taxis available that they all concentrate in Oldham and Royton town centres. There is zero service in Chadderton, Failsworth and Shaw and we have to provide a borough-wide service.

“The experience of all the other authorities that have done this already is that the doomsday scenarios (from drivers) never turn out to be the case.” No financial help is being offered to buy the black cabs. And despite no new plates being issued for 14 years, there is a waiting list of 150.

Mr Allen admitted they had not decided whether to issue new plates based on the list or scrap it and give them out on a first-come, first-served basis when the changes take affect on 1 April next year. Doing so could cause uproar as some may have been waiting for many years. The list has not been checked since 2000.

After a consultation period, the final proposals will go before Cabinet for final recommendation in February. A special licensing committee meeting is open to the public at the Civic Centre on Tuesday November 15 from 9.30am.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:28 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
No new plates have been issued since 1991, creating a thriving black market with licences fetching as much as £45,000. The council charges only £284.

Someone's been reading M&R and JD's list. :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:31 pm 
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Cabbies fear for their futures

CAB drivers fear today’s bombshell will strangle their trade. Many believe they will be forced out of business as a result of the huge changes being prepared for Oldham’s taxi system.

All Hackney carriage drivers must have a London-style black cab by March 2008. Yet they cost up to £28,000 and no financial help is on offer. The fleet will also increase dramatically in the coming years.

Bernard Fitzsimmons, a director with Directors Borough Taxis — the main provider of Hackney carriages in Oldham — said they felt betrayed. “These proposals will ultimately destroy the public hire trade in Oldham,” he said.

“You could increase the fleet by 200 per cent and still not cater for the numbers wanting a taxi in a two-hour period at the weekend. “We are not going to take this lying down. Generally, the system is working.”

Javid Iqbal, from Roundthorn, said he was already £10,000 in debt and could not afford a black cab. “I would face bankruptcy under these changes”, he said. “I have three children and a mortgage, I cannot afford a black cab.”

Manir Ahmed (59), who has been a taxi driver for nearly 20 years, said: “A lot of people prefer a saloon car.” He argues that passengers with mobility problems struggle to get into black cabs.

Auvand Zeb, a driver for 15 years, said: “It’s a very bad idea. More cabs is the wrong thing. We don’t need more, there is not enough work. “It is difficult as it is to make a living. I work 10-12 hours a shift, five days-a-week.”

Black cab driver Matloob Hussein said: “Cabbies can be waiting for an hour for a job — there is no work”, “It is going to be a disaster for Oldham if they put in more cabs. This isn’t a city, it isn’t Manchester.”

David MacDonald, chairman of the Oldham Hackney Carriage Association, condemned the changes, saying many drivers had already gone into heavy debt just to buy the licence plate.

Chairman of the Oldham Private Hire Association, Allan Taylor, who runs Cartax Radio Cars in Lees, called the proposals explosive. “I don’t think the council has got it right in any way, shape or form.”

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:32 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
David MacDonald, chairman of the Oldham Hackney Carriage Association, condemned the changes, saying many drivers had already gone into heavy debt just to buy the licence plate.

And at last we have some truth. :-$

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:55 pm 
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I wonder why the plates are selling for £45,000 if they are struggling for business? :?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:04 pm 
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TDO wrote:
I wonder why the plates are selling for £45,000 if they are struggling for business? :?

Exactly, can't find £10,000 for a motor but can find £45,000 for a piece of plastic to stick on the back of it. [-(

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:05 pm 
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It seems to me that LTI want to rule the world with their rubbish cabs.
It also makes me think that someone somewhere is getting a nice drink. (backhander)? :evil:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:06 pm 
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McDeHack wrote:
It also makes me think that someone somewhere is getting a nice drink. (backhander)? :evil:

As if? :roll: :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:31 pm 
Sussex wrote:
“It is difficult as it is to make a living. I work 10-12 hours a shift, five days-a-week.”

wot five whole days? :shock:
i suppose he has got another eight drivers to fill up the rest of the hours in the week. :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:08 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Sussex wrote:
No new plates have been issued since 1991, creating a thriving black market with licences fetching as much as £45,000. The council charges only £284.

Someone's been reading M&R and JD's list. :roll:


lol I can honestly say I had nothing to do with the change of heart of Oldham councillors. But perhaps the wheelchair bound lady councillor who found herself stranded late at night probably did have something to do with Oldhams new policy.

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 Post subject: de-regulisation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:07 am 
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Will Oldham council put the lid on releasing plates when the figure reaches 150,or are they going to carry on releasing plates as long as there is a demand?


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 Post subject: Re: de-regulisation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:44 am 
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football wrote:
Will Oldham council put the lid on releasing plates when the figure reaches 150,or are they going to carry on releasing plates as long as there is a demand?


At the moment I don't think Oldham council know the answer to that one.

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 Post subject: Re: de-regulisation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:00 pm 
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JD wrote:
At the moment I don't think Oldham council know the answer to that one.

But are they as bad as the Licensing Chair that didn't know his council restricted taxi plates? ](*,)

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 Post subject: Re: de-regulisation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:05 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
JD wrote:
At the moment I don't think Oldham council know the answer to that one.

But are they as bad as the Licensing Chair that didn't know his council restricted taxi plates? ](*,)


lol as Frank Carson would say "thats a cracker". Just goes to show how well informed Oldham Councillors are.

Maybe you should post that section of the email he sent you when you asked him "why he thought the public of oldham was best served by limiting the number of Taxis? lol

We could all do with a good laff.

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