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Get involved in review over taxi age policy

Published on Thursday, January 18, 2024

2 minute read

Illuminated taxi sign

PEOPLE have a chance to give their views on proposals to change some of the age restrictions on vehicles which can be used as taxis in Leicester.

The city council is responsible for licensing hackney carriages and private hire vehicles, to ensure that all vehicles are suitable and safe to be used by the public.

The number of hackney carriages – “black cabs” – operating in Leicester has declined in recent years due to a number of factors, one of which is the cost of buying a suitable vehicle. Those working in the taxi trade say there are very few affordable black cabs available secondhand.

Private hire vehicles, which are booked in advance, do not have to meet the same specifications as hackney carriages and so licence holders have a wider choice of vehicles they can buy. However they are also reporting financial pressures affecting their business.

In addition, many private hire vehicles working in Leicester are licensed by other councils, some of which allow vehicles to be kept for longer.

Leicester City Council’s current vehicle age policy requires all vehicles being licensed for the first time to be no older than five years, and for all vehicles being relicensed to be no older than 11 years.

Representatives of the taxi trade have requested a review of the current policy for both types of licensed vehicles.

The taxi policy was last reviewed back in 2012, since which time the taxi trade has experienced the pressures of the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and changing customer demand.

People can take part in the consultation online, which runs for six weeks from January 15 to February 25.

All the responses will be taken into account by the council’s Licensing and Public Safety Committee, and the City Mayor, when deciding whether the current age restrictions should be changed.

A decision is expected within two months of the close of the consultation period. If the decision is to amend the existing policy, the implementation date will depend on what changes are being made.

There is still a pressing need to move towards greener, low emission, hybrid or electric vehicles to improve air quality in the city. For this reason, there may be other changes to the vehicle licensing policy made at a later date.

Leicester assistant city mayor Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, whose responsibilities include licensing, said: “Members of the taxi trade in Leicester have asked us to look again at the age policy around vehicles used as taxis, in the light of changes to customer demand and other pressures faced by the industry.

“We’ve been working closely with local taxi representatives and have agreed to review these conditions.

“This consultation gives people across the city and from all walks of life the chance to make their views heard on this subject too, so they can be taken into account when we make a decision on whether changes are needed.”

To take part in the consultation visit here.