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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:57 pm 
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Cardiff Council to look at removing taxi licence restriction it has had in place for over 10 years

A council will look into a temporary restriction on issuing hackney carriage licences that it has had in place for more than 10 years. Cardiff Council's public protection committee voted to launch a consultation over the possible removal of the authority's moratorium on issuing new hackney carriage licences.

Cardiff Council is the only local authority in Wales, and one of a few in the UK, to have such a moratorium in place. The council's licensing department has received a number of complaints from passengers who have been unable to get hackney carriages.

It has also seen an increase in reports of hackney carriage drivers cherry-picking and refusing short fares. There is also the issue of the current moratorium, which has been in place at Cardiff Council since 2010, restricting new entrants into the hackney carriage trade unless they are able to purchase a hackney carriage vehicle already licensed in Cardiff and transfer it into their name.

This has created a a secondary market in Cardiff for hackney carriage licences and makes it difficult for those wishing to start a career as a self-employed driver to do so due to high costs. A report that was presented to the council's public protection committee revealed that 220 of the current 946 hackney carriage licences are currently on hold.

This means there are 726 hackney carriages that are actively licensed in Cardiff. As well as seeing more complaints from passengers the council's licensing department also found that the number of vehicle licences not being actively used has increased in recent years. In 2019 Cardiff Council commissioned an independent survey of Cardiff’s taxi demand.

The survey recommended that there was no significant unmet demand and as a result the moratorium was kept. However with the current issues raised by the licensing department and the perceived potential benefits of new drivers being able to put a deposit down on a modern vehicle, instead of having to purchase a hackney carriage vehicle above the market value, the matter has been brought back for review.

Once the consultation has been completed a further report will be brought back to the council for consideration.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:55 pm 
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Quote:
A report that was presented to the council's public protection committee revealed that 220 of the current 946 hackney carriage licences are currently on hold.

Which presumably means that they've effectively been surrendered, and no one wants to buy the plates. So presumably if they have a value at all, it's probably minimal.

To that extent, the council reissuing the plates for the normal fees probably wouldn't make much difference in terms of overall numbers.

Of course, aren't some of the Cardiff HC plates saloons, and the others WAV-only? To that extent maybe the saloon plates have some sort of reasonable value. But the chances of the council reissuing any plate to saloons very probably zero, so to that extent likely to be few applicants. If they reissued saloon plates, then maybe more chance of a response, but probably from current PHDs anyway.

So the 'shortage', cherry-picking etc probably more likely to be due to the usual reasons, as opposed to the plate moratorium.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:55 pm 
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Cardiff taxi drivers stage protest outside county hall against plans to issue ‘too many licenses’

https://nation.cymru/news/cardiff-taxi- ... -licenses/

Photo of the protest here:
https://nation.cymru/wp-content/uploads ... rotest.jpg
Image: Nation Cymru

Unite Wales members working within the Cardiff Taxi trade have staged a protest against Cardiff County Hall.

The protest by several hundred taxi drivers is aimed at stopping what they say is the the increasingly over-saturation of the Cardiff taxi trade.

Alan McCarthy, Regional Officer, said that there were “too many licenses issued for a city the size of Cardiff”.

“This decreases earning opportunities for existing drivers, with over-competition for fares,” he said. “Private Hire licenses are already uncapped, and coupled with unchallenged cross bordering from neighbouring authorities, the Cardiff market is completely oversaturated.”

Alan McCarthy said that they were protesting specifically against proposals to lift a cap on the issuing of new licenses to those presenting electric or new Euro 6 compliant vehicles, which they said would be unaffordable to many current drivers.

“Cardiff Council have already spoken about a desire to see the entire fleet upgraded to electric vehicles in the coming years. How are drivers supposed to face the current cost of living crisis whist also saving to purchase an electric vehicle?” he said.

“Issuing new licenses to those financially capable of owning an electric vehicle simply forces the poorest drivers out of the trade.

“Cardiff Council need to stop and carry out a thorough Equality Impact Assessment to ensure that the poorest in our capital city are not being disproportionally hit by this disastrous proposal.”

In November of 2020 taxi drivers staged a protest outside Welsh Government offices in Cathays Park protesting against a lack of financial support during the Covid–19 lockdown.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:57 pm 
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Quote:
Alan McCarthy said that they were protesting specifically against proposals to lift a cap on the issuing of new licenses to those presenting electric or new Euro 6 compliant vehicles, which they said would be unaffordable to many current drivers.

Not sure how that impacts current drivers in terms of affordability, precisely. But, of course, somewhere down the line current drivers will presumably have to comply.

According to one comment on the other article, there's 16-year-old 'black and white' taxis in Cardiff, by which is presumably meant the colour-coded saloons :-o

But this kind of confirms what I said about the new plates above - no doubt there's a WAV spec as well, so with the tougher emissions spec on top, if no one wants to buy currently issued plates on the 'secondary market', not sure why anyone would want one directly from the council with a tougher spec :?

Anyway, quite a good turnout for the protest, and Unite have quite a professional video of it here. The content is fairly predictable, but we're all facing similar problems, in some way or another :-|

https://twitter.com/UniteWales/status/1 ... 2690345985


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 4:17 pm 
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Yes.

Looks as though there is no demand from potential applicants for getting licensed.

If this is due to higher costs from the councils strict vehicle specification requirements then it clearly shows incomes in the trade in that area are not high enough to justify purchasing a more expensive vehicle per the councils requirements.

This will be a trend gathering steam throughout the industry up and down the country as more and more councils introduce more strict rules on what can be licensed.

The results will be catastrophic in relation to license numbers.

Maybe licensing departments around the councils should be required to work as a cab driver for a year or two.

They might start to realize how dire the incomes really are.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:40 pm 
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And if they keep the limit they will have to do a SUD survey.

Currently costing £18-25,000.

Makes so much sense. #-o

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