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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:48 pm 
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187ums wrote:
70K for a plate in Oxford, you must be joking, not worth the plastic its printed on.



Only £60k then? :?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:53 pm 
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Alex wrote:
The reply was quite long but can be best paraphrased by saying that their justification is supported by a SUD survey, and their members believe that issuing more plates than the SUD survey suggested would block up the ranks, and that would be detrimental to customers.

It would seem the folks in Lancaster don't read Government Circulars, because if they did they would see that in circular 3/85 section 27, the DfT said:
"congestion at taxi ranks was not a valid reason for councils to limit hackney carriage licenses, councils have the option of introducing additional rank space". [-(

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:57 pm 
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Interesting to contrast the approach in Oxford with that in Cambridge, but it does provide a chance to wheel out that article by the Cambridge Council leader David Howarth, who is now an MP.

It's the best analysis of the restricted UK trade I've read by anyone outside the trade.

Taxis in Cambridge - The Facts

Council Leader David Howarth outlines the Council's position on issuing new licences.

1. What is the problem?

There are often long queues in Cambridge at taxi ranks and it is practically impossible to hail a cab in the street. People often abandon taxi queues in despair. This happens at all times of the day, not just late at night. An independent study by nationally recognised transport researchers Halcrow Fox has found that there is 'substantial unmet demand' for taxis in Cambridge.

Taxis form a vital link in the public transport system, allowing people to complete journeys, eg by train, that they would otherwise do by car. If there are too few taxis, people will turn to the private car in greater numbers, causing more congestion and pollution.

2. How has this problem come about?

There are two types of taxi, 'hackney carriages' and 'private hire cars'. The difference is that only 'hackney carriages' can pick up from ranks or from the street. The dispute is about 'hackney carriages' not 'private hire cars', whose numbers are not regulated.

The shortage of cabs in Cambridge has come about because of past collusion between the cab drivers and the council to create a closed shop to keep new drivers out. Cab drivers have, over the years, persuaded councillors to limit the number of cabs to less than the number required by the public. This means that people who are fully qualified to drive cabs are kept out. Last month, for example, when one taxi licence became available, 19 people applied for it. 18 of them went away empty handed, even though they were just as qualified to drive a cab as the person who received the licence.

3. What is the proposal to deal with the problem?

The Council is proposing, in the first instance, to issue 14 new tax licences. Then, on 1 July next year, the formal limit on the number of taxi licences will be lifted completely.

4. Why not de-limit straightaway?

The Council wants to see a smooth transition to the new system. The fourteen new licences will deal with the immediate crisis, but the de-limitation will mean that we never have to face such a crisis again. After 1 July 2001, instead of a big increase in taxi numbers every couple of years, as required by law since 1985 if there is 'substantial unmet demand', there will be a slow increase in numbers as the market grows.

5. Won't quality decline?

No. The Council is not deregulating taxis, only de-limiting the numbers. The requirements for drivers eg to pass a 'knowledge' exam will remain and the new taxis will have to be either of the 'London' design or an equivalent such as a people carrier.

6. Won't existing drivers end up unable to make a living?

No. First, there will not be a big rush all at once of new drivers. After the first 14, the increase will be quite slow, as the market expands. The main reason for this is that a new cab costs around £25,000, and no-one is going to risk that kind of money on a whim.

Secondly, the taxi trade in Cambridge is expanding rapidly, as the general economy of the city is expanding. In the past 10 years, the number of taxi journeys taken in the city has risen by 65%, despite the fact that fares have risen by 37% and that there are too few cabs. In an average year, the money coming into the taxi trade rises by about 9%, well ahead of average earnings. All that the council's policy will do is slow down the rate of increase in income per taxi.

Thirdly, fares are set to rise this September by 6.5% anyway, and the new formula for setting fares takes into account rises in taxi costs, eg rises in fuel prices.

7. What is this about drivers investing £15,000 or £20,000 in a taxi plate?

Under the old closed shop system, a kind of 'grey' market developed in which existing taxi drivers 'sold' their right to operate taxis to newcomers. In some cases the holder of the licence gave it up to the newcomer. In other cases, the holder of the licence merely 'rented' the right to operate the cab to a succession of other people, sometimes to more than one person at once. There are even instances of people who hold more than one licence who make money not by driving but by 'renting' out their licences.

The Council turned a blind eye to these practices, although it has forbidden them outright for more recent licences.

De-limitation means that in the future people who want to become taxi drivers will not have to pay grey market prices for licences in deals with existing taxi drivers. The cost of a licence from the council is presently under £300, and it is set to fall dramatically. In the future, drivers will have lower costs and will be able to make a living more easily.
Existing drivers who paid over the odds will lose out, but the Council says that since the plates only had a grey market value because of the unfair closed shop and on the backs of dissatisfied customers, drivers could not reasonably expect that such unfairness would last forever. They made a business decision to trade on a grey market. Some business decisions work out better than others.


Published by Keith Edkins on behalf of Cambridge City Council Liberal Democrat Group © July 2000

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:21 pm 
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All valid points, however what works for Cambridge does not necessarily mean that it will work in Oxford.

The council has it spot on, thier are no places to put any more taxis, unless they move the bus stops, which in turn will be a detriment to the customer

These buses run 24 hours, what will happen to the people who cannot afford to catch the taxi?

Oxford is already the most polluted place outside of London in the UK, more taxis will add to the pollution and congestion and thats a fact.

As for more cars, not enough business out thier, what will happen is thier will be more part time drivers e.g. Carlisle - thier the whole industry went Hackney which has resulted in significant detriment to the customer as no one wants to cover the outer areas - thats also a fact.

You know whats really funny, we have the deregulationists in our midsts as well, they were the ones who got the free plates and sold them on at crazy money, and now they want back in, could this be you guys?

We do not collude with the council, if they want to make it a free for all tomorrow, they can. At least they have made a stand unlike the other spineless councils.

As for quality we already have a 100% WAV fleet.

Tell me TDO, JD, Sussex whats your councils views?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:38 pm 
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187ums wrote:

Oxford is already the most polluted place outside of London in the UK, more taxis will add to the pollution and congestion and thats a fact.


Considering Oxford has comprehensively studied the effect the increase in Taxi vehicles would have on pollution, why didn't they mention the effect the 278 private hire vehicles might have on pollution?

While they were at it why didn't they measure the effects the biggest polluters of all namely buses have on the environment? I suspect councillors believe more buses are a good thing and taxis aren't.

Regards

JD


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:52 pm 
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187ums wrote:

Tell me TDO, JD, Sussex whats your councils views?


I got my plate for nothing, and all other plates in the area were granted gratis by the council and none have been sold, because, of course, my authority has historically been unrestricted.

And if I have my way it'll stay like that forever :D

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:58 pm 
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187ums wrote:


Oxford is already the most polluted place outside of London in the UK, more taxis will add to the pollution and congestion and thats a fact.


The Top eight polluted cities in the UK are listed below. If you remove the city of London and its Boroughs it is noticable that all the other cities have in place quantity control. Not one de-restricted auhority is listed.

What can we draw from this information? Perhaps we can draw the conclusion that it isn't Hackney carriages that are causing the pollution so although Oxford is top of the list of polluted cities it doesn't equate that Taxis are the cause of that pollution.

Location.............. NO of Cigarette Equivalent in 24 Hours

Oxford 61.4
Bath 46.8
Glasgow – Kerbside 44.7
London, Marylebone Road 30.0
Kensington & Chelsea, King’s Road 29.6
Exeter 27.7
Hammersmith Broadway 27.3
Bristol – City Centre 27.1


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JD


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:03 am 
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187ums wrote:
The council has it spot on, thier are no places to put any more taxis, unless they move the bus stops, which in turn will be a detriment to the customer

So what happens if you have a SUD survey and the likes of Halcrow say you need 50 more plates?

How do you think the courts will view your council's excuse for not issuing them? :?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:07 am 
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187ums wrote:
These buses run 24 hours, what will happen to the people who cannot afford to catch the taxi?

Why do more and more buses run for 24 hours, in the past it was un-heard of.

One of the main reasons is that the cab trade couldn't, or wouldn't, cope with the demand at night.

So maybe your council's justification should have been 'we prefer buses'. :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:09 am 
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187ums wrote:
You know whats really funny, we have the deregulationists in our midsts as well, they were the ones who got the free plates and sold them on at crazy money, and now they want back in, could this be you guys?

Please don't judge me by what you see before you.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:10 am 
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187ums wrote:
Tell me TDO, JD, Sussex whats your councils views?

I suspect when those councils respond to Alex's e-mails, then we will see what they are.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:57 pm 
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187ums wrote:
As for more cars, not enough business out thier, what will happen is thier will be more part time drivers e.g. Carlisle - thier the whole industry went Hackney which has resulted in significant detriment to the customer as no one wants to cover the outer areas - thats also a fact.



I would say that most driver in Dundee are parttime, and this has stayed the same whether or not numbers have been restricted.

As for being 'all hackney' and thus not covering the outer areas, not much more than 10 years ago Dundee had nearly 800 taxi and zero PH. But the outlying areas have never been a problem, since most of the taxis work with offices. Dundee was then capped but is now uncapped, and there only about 5% of the total fleet is PH. But the outer areas cant be a problem, because the offices have around 500 vehicles and only about 100 work the street. the offices cover all areas, and there cant be a problem because the drivers are moaning about a lack of work.

Like Dundee, Falkirk and Aberdeen are 90% plus taxi and are bigger than Carlise, and i've never heard of any problems there like the ones you mention.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:09 pm 
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I very much doubt if the survey will show that we need 50 cars, but if we did we will cross that bridge when we get thier.

The next time you are in Oxford, ask yourself where all these extra Taxi's would go? bearing in mind we only have two main ranks - one at the coach station and one at the rail station. We can use the High Street, only at night time.

600 private hires - now you are plucking figures out of the air JD, they serve a different market segment - and are not located in the centre.

As for the buses, well they are trying to shift them out of the centre, they have conducted thier analysis and are trying to get the pollution levels down.

You guys have to think strategically sometimes, not like lemmings, in some places maybe dereg is the way forward, in Oxford currently it is not.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:18 pm 
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187ums wrote:
You guys have to think strategically sometimes, not like lemmings, in some places maybe dereg is the way forward, in Oxford currently it is not.

I think if the cab trade, in your manor, had thought strategiaclly about 20 years ago, then there would far fewer PHs.

And those far fewer PHs wouldn't be picking up now what was your work then.

But did you address my LPG point? :?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:25 pm 
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I dont know about LPG, but if i remember Stagecoach and Go Ahead are trying to bring in more efficient buses, so its a starting point.

But the point is if they dereg, it will be a FREE FOR ALL, and obviously we will have to suffer the consequences...... dereg is bad for everyone involved.


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