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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:30 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 6013
A comprehensive summary of the issues, but not sure if there's much particularly new here for anyone who's read all the articles.

Two different photos of Charlie Boy, though, although he's not even mentioned in this piece.

The photo at the top of the thread is repeated, plus the one below, which I'm assuming was taken a few years ago :shock:

Bury taxi drivers: ‘We’re being taken for a ride by council’ ... e-council/

Image: Bury Times

TAXI drivers have accused Bury Council of ‘killing the trade’. Local Democracy Reporter JOSEPH TIMAN looks at the issues they have been raising with the licensing authority.

CABBIES are concerned about “unfair” vehicle compliance tests, impending pollution charges and their own personal safety.

They have been turning up in their droves at town hall meetings to make their complaints known to the council.

Heated discussions regularly take place during public question time sessions at licensing and safety panel meetings.

Earlier this month, more than 50 taxi drives filled the public gallery to ask councillors for reassurance on a number of issues.

And last week, officers, councillors and representatives from the taxi trade attended a “lively” liaison meeting to discuss their concerns.

On this occasion, the council’s transport and workshop manager also attended the meeting to provide information on the licensing administration regime and testing of vehicles.

For years, taxi drivers have called for independent vehicle compliance testing stations across the borough rather than relying on a single council-run station.

The station, which relocated from Bradley Fold Trading Estate to Bolton following a fire earlier this year, carries out taxi compliance tests which exempt the vehicle from holding a MOT certificate.

A council spokesman said: “Following a serious fire at Bradley Fold testing station, we immediately made arrangements to test private hire and Hackney carriage vehicles at an alternative station in Bolton, four miles away.

“This was up and running within 48 hours and a very small number of vehicles were affected, and we put measures in place to ensure that these vehicles could still work. Vehicle owners were contacted and arrangements made to ensure continuity of service.

“Nine of the ten councils in Greater Manchester have only one testing station – Bolton being the exception. There is more than sufficient capacity at this testing station for the number of taxi and private hire vehicles licensed in Bury. The station at Bradley Fold will be reopened in November.”

Taxi drivers have also complained that vehicles are failing compliance tests for minor and cosmetic.

Hundreds of taxis failed compliance tests in the last two years, costing drivers up to £55 every time for a retest.

A total of 270 retests took place last year, down from 310 the previous year, a request under the Freedom of Information Act revealed.

A council spokesman said: “Vehicles are not failed for minor items. The compliance check consists of all MOT safety items as well as a number of quality items as determined by council policy, included appearance and comfort issues such as bodywork condition such as dents and scratches. No vehicle has ever been failed on just one fault, unless it is so serious to as render a vehicle unsafe or unroadworthy.

“This year, up until the beginning of September, 270 vehicles have failed tests with between four to 10 faults. Each MOT fault failure counts as one fault – non-MOT faults can be included, but these are added together and only count as one fault.

“As far as complaints from the trade relating to the testing regime, we carried out an anonymous survey of around 10 per cent of drivers. Of the 91 completed responses we received, there was a satisfaction rate of more than 80 per cent to all the questions that were asked.”

Drivers are only charged the full fee of £55 if more than 10 faults are found in the vehicle.

Another pertinent issue for the taxi trade is the proposed charges which are set to be imposed on certain polluting vehicles across Greater Manchester.

The Clean Air plan which would see non-compliant buses, taxis, vans and lorries face a daily charge to drive on certain routes, could come into action in the next two years.

This comes after local authorities like Bury were told that they must consider implementing a Clean Air Zone to reduce harmful concentrations of nitrogen oxide.

Taxi drivers have asked the council for financial support to help them upgrade their vehicle to compliant ones.

Greater Manchester had asked the government for £28m to clean up taxis and private hire vehicles but so far it has been offered just £36m for enforcement cameras.

A Clean Air Greater Manchester spokesman said: “We have engaged with the taxi industry while developing the Clean Air Plan proposals and heard and understand their concerns. We’ve asked government for significant funding to limit the impact on local taxi and private hire operators.

“TfGM and the 10 district councils will continue to work with the industry as the measures in the proposed plan are developed further, and the detailed proposals will also be subject to a statutory public consultation in the future, giving people another opportunity to have their say.”

The Department for Transport has been contacted for comment.

THERE are approximately 1,000 taxi and private hire licensed drivers in Bury.

This figure has been more or less the same for the last decade.

The number of private hire vehicles is 933 currently, compared with 835 in 2016.

The number of Hackney vehicles is now 61, down from 93 in 2016.

Therefore any reduction in Hackney vehicles has been more than made up for by the increase in private hire vehicles, the council said.

A council spokesman said: “There is no shortage of people wishing to become drivers: in the last full financial year (2018/19), 123 people sat the knowledge test, compared to 116 the previous year.”

Private hire driver representatives have claimed that cabbies have paid around £1.9m in licensing and testing fees over the last five years.

However the council says that last year, it only received £166,853 for licences and £109,925 was paid to the testing station for compliance checks – a total of £276,778.

The cost to licence a vehicle for a year is £279 - this includes the MOT, 6 monthly interim test and the plates.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 45698
Location: 1066 Country
Not often the driver's rep is bigger than the cab.



PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:33 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 6013
Sussex wrote:
Not often the driver's rep is bigger than the cab.


But Charles is bigger than several other drivers put together :shock:


Either that or he's closer to the camera 8-[

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