Re­view of black cabs and pri­vate hire ve­hi­cles

Evening Times - - NEWS - By VIVIENNE NICOLL

AN in­de­pen­dent re­view is set to be car­ried out into the num­ber of black cabs and pri­vate hire ve­hi­cles on the streets of the city.

The city coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble for the li­cens­ing and reg­u­la­tion of taxis and pri­vate hires op­er­at­ing within its bound­ary.

It is al­lowed to refuse new taxi li­censes to limit the num­ber of black cabs op­er­at­ing but only if it is sat­is­fied there is no sig­nif­i­cant un­met need.

The coun­cil has had a long­stand­ing pol­icy that the max­i­mum of back cab li­censes is­sued should be 1428.

Un­til re­cently, coun­cil­lors had no power to limit the num­ber of pri­vate hires on the streets but that changed with the in­tro­duc­tion of new leg­is­la­tion which came into ef­fect in May last year.

That al­lows the li­cens­ing author­ity to refuse to grant an ap­pli­ca­tion for a pri­vate hire li­cense on the grounds it is sat­is­fied there is al­ready an over­pro­vi­sion of pri­vate hire cars in the ar­eas the driver plans to op­er­ate.

At present there are 1420 black cab li­censes and 3410 pri­vate hire care li­censes in the city.

This week, coun­cil­lors will be asked to agree that an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment be car­ried out to look at the is­sue of pri­vate hire cars in the city as well as black cab taxis.

A re­port says: “It is con­sid­ered an as­sess­ment of de­mand for the ser­vices of ei­ther taxis or pri­vate hire cars can­not prop­erly be made in iso­la­tion of the other.”

If it is ap­proved, the in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment will re­view the pro­vi­sion, use and de­mand for the ser­vices of both taxis and pri­vate hires.

That would al­low coun­cil­lors to con­sider a pos­si­ble change to the ex­ist­ing pol­icy on the num­ber of taxi li­censes and the pos­si­ble in­tro­duc­tion of a limit on the num­ber of pri­vate hires.

A re­view is set to be car­ried out

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