Gloucestershire Echo

Private hire driver is granted Hackney carriage licence


A BISHOP’S Cleeve private hire driver has been granted a Hackney carriage licence to work in Cheltenham.

Cabbie Simon Bailey moved over to private hire several years ago as he understood that at the time he could not add a newer vehicle if it was not wheelchair accessible.

He told Cheltenham Borough Council that he needed to change his vehicle in December 2020 but it was not proving cost effective to buy a suitable Hackney vehicle to then change it again for a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) within seven or eight months. “I was unaware until very recently that WAVS had been abandoned for the Cheltenham Hackney fleet,” he said.

“Living in Bishop’s Cleeve, now having a private hire plate and not partaking in the Echo, the local paper, and not going to Hackney ranks for interactio­n with other drivers, I was unaware of the change in the years following Covid.

“However, as I was coming out of the dog walking Grange Field in Bishop’s Cleeve, I noticed a silver estate car with a Cheltenham Hackney carriage plate on the back, this led me to make further enquiries and discover that WAV’S had been postponed, this was only towards end of November 2023.”

He told the council that as a private hire driver he missed out severely as most of the businesses that he dealt with went to zoom calls and Microsoft Teams meetings online rather than business travel.

“It took over two years for that to return and in the interim I could have done with a Hackney plate. I find that losing my Hackney plate has cost me dearly, going back to a Hackney plate would generate more income and give me greater working flexibilit­y, something I’ve missed since the start of Covid in 2020.

Licensing team leader Jason Kirkwood told the council meeting on April 3 he is asking for his circumstan­ces to be “effectivel­y reset to where they were prior to the change in policy”.

He said Mr Bailey wanted a Hackney carriage licence and would give up his private hire plate.

Councillor­s were supportive of his applicatio­n and the committee decided to delegate to officers to grant the licence.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom