Friday, 13 May 2011

Taxi Drivers claim 'Browbeating' by Local Authority during holiday

All 109 Hackney cabs in the Lancaster Council area received a letter before Easter requiring them to report to the Council's Vehicle Maintenance Unit in Morecambe for inspection on Thursday 21 April, between 10am and 2.30pm, despite the holiday season being one of their busiest times. The National Private Hire Association advised the drivers that they weren't legally obliged to respond - but drivers claim they were afraid that the council might retaliate by withdrawing their licences and their livelihoods over the busy Easter weekend. The inspections were called to check for roof light switches - normally the illuminated sign on a taxi roof is connected to the meter and switched off when a fare is on board. 101 vehicles were inspected. No defective switches were found.

Andy Kay, chairman of the Lancaster City Hackney Cabs Proprietors Association, quoted in the Morecambe Visitor, said “The city council are applying the rules and regulations to suit their needs, rather than as they are intended.
"We're being browbeaten by the local authority with a whole host of rules and regulation changes, making it very difficult for us."

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