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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 54495
Location: 1066 Country
Are they worried about the lack of drivers, or the lack of licensing fees income?

Erewash council trying to attract cabbies after drop-off in drivers and taxis ... es-9329371

There has been a significant decrease in the number of taxi drivers and registered taxis in a part of Derbyshire since the pandemic, a council reports. Erewash Borough Council details that there are now far fewer taxi drivers and registered vehicles since 2020 and it is now seeking to make changes to spur an increase.

It says there are now 67 fewer drivers, 41 fewer hackney carriages and 26 fewer private hire vehicles since March 2020. This represents a 26 per cent decrease in drivers (258 to 191), 24 per cent drop in hackney carriages (170 to 129) and 43 per cent drop in private hire vehicles (60 to 34) in the borough.

The borough council says it has received new applications from drivers seeking to be licensed in Erewash but not in sufficient numbers to return the trade to pre-pandemic numbers. As a result of this and a drop in registered vehicles the council is seeing less income for both applications and the relevant fees owed to maintain both.

The council says there has been an increasing number of driver operating in Erewash under licences issued by other authorities who are competing directly with those registered in the borough. It says this is not unlawful and is within regulations, providing the sub-contracting arrangements by operators have been carried out correctly.

The council says a “minority” of drivers previously registered in Erewash have chosen to obtain a licence elsewhere while continuing to work in the borough. It says: “It is a matter for individual local authorities to determine their own taxi licensing policies and procedures using statutory and best practice guidance issued by the Department for Transport.

“These local arrangements can, however, create disparities between local authorities in areas such as application fees, licence conditions and licensing procedures. Within this competitive arena, private hire operators may, if they wish, take advantage of lower application fees, and less restrictive licensing practices offered by other councils to obtain their licences.”

The council is now looking to make itself “more competitive in the marketplace to encourage new drivers seeking to enter the taxi trade in Erewash to apply for their licences from the council”. It is now looking to allow vehicles used for taxis to be up to 12 years old, an increase from 10 years.

Meanwhile, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle can remain in use up until it becomes 15 years old, up from 12 years. The council currently requires two mechanical inspections per year for vehicles aged up to eight years and three per year for those aged between eight and 10 (excluding the MOT).

This would be changed to vehicles aged up to five years requiring one mechanical inspection per year and vehicles over five years old requiring two inspections per year. The council says: “Members are advised that the council would incur loss of income if the number of taxi inspections carried out at the depot were to reduce.

“It is the case however that a less onerous vehicle testing regime would be advantageous to drivers, vehicle owners and proprietors and, within the wider context of an increasingly competitive taxi licensing environment, could incentivise more drivers to apply for their vehicle licences with the council rather than another licensing authority. The expectation would be that, over time, initial income losses would be offset by an increase in vehicles and drivers licensed by the council.”

The council says the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles registered in the borough has dropped from 37 to just seven since 2019. A low emission discount for more environmentally friendly vehicles is currently operated by the council but this would be changed to apply to electric vehicles only, with the authority currently losing £9,000 a year on the discount but could make £9,000 per annum with the change.

Meanwhile, five years on from the introduction of a policy to ban heavily tinted windows in taxis, opposed by many in the Erewash taxi trade, the council is now set to relax its policy. The council currently allows a 25 per cent tint on the windscreen and 30 per cent tint on the side windows (front and rear) and rear window.

This would be tweaked to allow manufacturer-issued tinting for the rear side windows and rear window. That recommendation is made despite opposition from Derbyshire County Council who said maximum visibility was preferred for transport of vulnerable children and adults – 2,000 of which use taxis in the county.

The police did not respond to the borough council but had formed a major part of the tinting policy being strengthened in 2019 due to taxis being tied to child sexual exploitation, grooming and human trafficking. A council report says the police cannot provide data for crimes committed by licenced taxi drivers or a passenger or third party; and cannot confirm if reported crimes was associated to vehicles fitted with or without tinted windows.

It says: “There is no substantive evidence to confirm if the tinted windows policy has made a difference to the incidence of reported crimes involving licensed taxis or to the safety of passengers who are vulnerable adults or children. Meanwhile, the council says it will not be mandating that taxis must have CCTV cameras, due to this adding a “significant additional regulatory burden”.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:47 pm
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
The new reality is that the need for taxis especially to serve the night time economy has greatly diminished in many areas.

Of course there will be fewer councils need to get used to that.

lack of modern legislation is the iceberg sinking the titanic of the transport sector

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 2:39 am 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 14323
Almost didn't read this piece, but it's actually very illuminating, in particular because I was looking at Wolverhampton's vehicle spec earlier on to work out their age limit etc.

And this is like one of those pieces about Uber, which doesn't actually mention the U-word. Pretty obvious here where references to the likes of 'another licensing authority' are referring to, but the W-word isn't mentioned :lol:

So they've relaxed the age rule from 10 to 12 because of you-know-where? :roll:

And they're relaxing the vehicle inspection regime because of you-know-where? :roll:

And they won't be mandating CCTV because of you-know-where? :roll:

And they've relaxed the tinted window requirement because of you-know-where? :roll:

(And I still remember the off-the-scale nonsense about the tints when they were introducing it :roll: )

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