New 30 mile radius for hackney cabs slammed by taxi boss

The chair of the Rossendale Taxi Association says the group will formally object to the addition to the intended use policy

A Taxi boss has slammed the council for introducing a 30 mile catchment to stop Rossendale licenses being given to people who live more than 30 miles away.

Rossendale Borough Council say that since implementing their new hackney carriage intended use policy in February, they have ‘refined and clarified it’ in a bid to crack down on taxi drivers operating outside the borough.

This includes the rejection of applications whose address is beyond a 30 miles radius from a fixed point within the borough.

Rossendale are one of the first local authorities in the country to introduce such a measure after numerous complaints about taxis plying their trade out of the Valley in areas as far away as Bradford, Sheffield and Manchester.

However the chairman of the Rossendale Taxi Association David Lawrie, who worked with the council’s licensing committee to formulate the intended use policy, says the association are planning to lodge a formal objection to the amendment.

Mr Lawrie said: “This is something they have done without consulting with anybody, no notice, they just threw it in.

“This radius doesn’t make any sense whatsoever and if they have had [consulted] us about it we would have explained why. Things are going absolutely pear shaped.”

He added: “I would like them to go to the original intended use policy that they have only just adopted and give it a chance to work. This is nothing more than a waste of council time and money and stress for applicants who should not be being rejected.”

A report to the licensing committee states that the advice was communicated to applicants and the taxi trade online and face to face, however Mr Lawrie disputes that any contact has been made with his organisation.

Chairman of the licensing committee, councillor Steve Hughes, said the new radius did not need further consultation.

He said: “This is part of what was already agreed under the intended use policy, it’s not a change, it was a refinement of the policy and a clarification making it more specific but that wasn’t something that need to come back to a consultation.

“Ultimately the policy is there to ensure that people operate within Rossendale, if there is evidence that they are operating outside due process will be followed.”

source: http://www.rossendalefreepress.co.uk/