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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Taxi driver numbers in Worcester facing cap

A MAJOR new survey will take place to see if the first ever ‘cap’ can be put on Worcester’s taxis - as drivers admitted their numbers are out of control. Furious hackney carriage drivers have blamed Worcester City Council for allowing their numbers to surge nearly 200 per cent in a decade, and are ready to support a groundbreaking limit.

It follows years of steady rises which means the overall number of taxis went from 102 in 2001 to today’s record high of 288. Now, an “unmet demand” survey is set to be independently commissioned at a cost of around £9,000 to see if the staggering tally is too large.

The last time the same survey was done was 12 years ago, when consultants said Worcester was “fairly close” to all demand being met at 100-odd taxis. If the new survey recommends the current figure is too big, it could pave the way for new, hard-hitting policies to bring it down over time or even a cap. Crucially, it would also help the city council if any prospective taxi driver was to attempt legal action for being refused a licence.


Mohammed Ali, from Worcester Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “There are too many taxis, we all know that, they are clogging up the streets and causing chaos. “We’ve got a real problem and it’s the council that has caused this mess over a period of many years. “I know people want to make a living but the current number is too high so we are saying, we are willing to pay for the survey and want it done. “Taxis are clogging up the streets and making it hard for emergency vehicles to get through.”

He also said he wanted to see a temporary ban on any new drivers until the survey takes place, but that prospect is unlikely because of the legal ramifications. Talks are due to take place by the end of July between the WTDA and council officers about formally commissioning the survey.

Several private firms do so-called unmet demand surveys, and the costs can vary wildly, although current estimates are £9,000 to £10,000. Councillor Paul Denham, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “If we can get evidence there is no unmet demand from an independent organisation, we would have sufficient evidence to control numbers.

“There is a misunderstanding from certain elements of the trade that the council is making money, but it isn’t - the licensing department is actually run at a loss. “It’s a simple process we follow, in line with the law - we can’t refuse a new driver a licence without doing this survey.”

The unmet demand survey would focus on Worcester’s two main ranks, at The Cross and Foregate Street, to see how busy they are. The independent consultants would locate a camera over each rank 24/7, over a course of several weeks, to see if customers are ever left waiting without a hackney carriage turning up.

A report would then be published, which would outline levels of demand and suggest if the current tally is acceptable. The last one in 2001 suggested the figure of 102 taxis was nearing an acceptable limit, but was inconclusive on if the number should be capped, which led to huge rises in recent years.

Council chiefs say the only way they can lawfully refuse a prospective driver a licence is by doing an unmet demand survey which recommends a cap. Other cities have done surveys in recent years and placed a cap on numbers, including Oxford, where the limit is 107 despite it having 50,000 more residents than Worcester.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Mohammed Ali, from Worcester Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “There are too many taxis, we all know that, they are clogging up the streets and causing chaos. “We’ve got a real problem and it’s the council that has caused this mess over a period of many years. “I know people want to make a living but the current number is too high so we are saying, we are willing to pay for the survey and want it done. “Taxis are clogging up the streets and making it hard for emergency vehicles to get through.”

If it's so bad then why don't some volunteer to hand their plates back?

Then they can go and work for others, in the same way they are expecting new cabbies in the future to do.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Whats to stop folks going PH if they can't get a plate ? Still be too many 'taxis' but with no extra HC. #-o


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:45 pm 
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sasha wrote:
Whats to stop folks going PH if they can't get a plate ? Still be too many 'taxis' but with no extra HC. #-o

I agree.

But some Dumbo's can't work out that both PH and HC happen to share the same punters.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:41 am 
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There is some nonsense being talked here by the 'council chiefs'.

They say that they cannot refuse a (valid) application for a Hackney Carriage Driver licence and I agree.

But the council CAN suspend the issuing of new Hackney Carriage VEHICLE licences until the unmet demand survey has been carried out. This will prevent applications from speculators who hope that plates will have a cash value as soon as a limit is imposed.

Another Licensing Department that doesn't know what it's doing!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Frasershead wrote:
But the council CAN suspend the issuing of new Hackney Carriage VEHICLE licences until the unmet demand survey has been carried out. This will prevent applications from speculators who hope that plates will have a cash value as soon as a limit is imposed.

That's one way to stop those pesky speculators, the other way is change nothing so plates have no value to said speculators.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:43 pm 
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in theory there is not too many taxis there are too many private hire opperators


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Grundy wrote:
in theory there is not too many taxis there are too many private hire opperators

But the issue is some councils restrict hackneys, if those councils didn't restrict hackneys then IMO there would be less private hire operators/drivers/vehicles.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Grundy wrote:
in theory there is not too many taxis there are too many private hire opperators

But the issue is some councils restrict hackneys, if those councils didn't restrict hackneys then IMO there would be less private hire operators/drivers/vehicles.



It would not reduce private hire operators,drivers or private hire vehicles one jot.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:24 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
It would not reduce private hire operators,drivers or private hire vehicles one jot.

So where would the extra hackney vehicle drivers come from? The magic tree?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:05 am 
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Sussex wrote:
So where would the extra hackney vehicle drivers come from? The magic tree?

Driver providers. :mrgreen:

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