TAXI drivers in Rossendale have quit a liaison group in protest at a controversial new licensing and enforcement policy which is being introduced across the valley.
Moves to introduce penalty points schemes for driving misdemeanours and stricter tests on taxis have taken the trade to the brink of strike action in the past.
Now 18 months after a new code of conduct and enforcement policy were first drawn up, it has been adopted by councillors.
Coun Alyson Barnes, Labour group leader, said: “There has been an apparent breakdown in communication between the trade and the council. This policy should be deferred for further discussions to take place.”
But Coun Jimmy Eaton, licensing committee chairman, said he had received no request to attend talks with cabbies over the issue.
Revisions were made to the policy after representations from the trade.
The number of points which drivers can accrue before being ordered to retake a Driving Standards Agency retest was raised from six to nine.
But if a cabbie racks up six or more point in one year they will have to give an explanation to the licensing committee.
In a joint statement David Pawlaszek and Glen Bulcock, chairmen of the Public Protection Association in Rossendale, which represents taxi drivers, said members were angered at claims they had refused to meet with councillors over the policies.
The statement said: “It has been decided that there is no further point in spending any more time to come to liaison meetings as they have been proven to be a waste of time, effort and money for all concerned,.
“Therefore they are disbanded forthwith and will no longer be attended by any representative of the trade.”
The new policy also says tests on cabs should be carried out by private garages as opposed to council licensing officials.