Tuesday, 15 January 2013

City Council consults on Taxis

Lancaster City Council is asking the public, taxi trade and other interested parties if rules limiting the number of hackney carriages operating within the district should be lifted.

Currently the number of licences issued to hackney taxis - which can pick passengers up without being pre-booked - in the Lancaster district is limited to 109.

This is regularly reviewed to ensure there are sufficient hackney taxis to meet demand, but local authorities elsewhere in the country are currently increasingly removing similar restrictions. Latest available figures show that 92 councils regulate the number of taxi licences, which constitutes around 26.7 per cent of licensing authorities in England and Wales.

A new report from the Law Commission is also recommending that such restrictions should be abolished.

Any relaxation in the rules would be particularly beneficial to wheelchair users. Currently just 15 of the 109 Hackney Carriages in the district are wheelchair accessible and any new licences issued would make this a requirement.

Coun Tony Johnson, chairman of the council’s Licensing Regulatory Committee, said: “The way the Hackney carriage trade is currently regulated in terms of numbers has both benefits and disadvantages.

“The purpose of this consultation is to identify whether the policy should continue in the future or be discontinued.

“The views of the public and the taxi trade will be key in helping us to make a decision that is of most benefit to both the trade and the travelling public.”

• To take part in the consultation email licensing@lancaster.gov.uk, visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/hackney-consultation or write to: Hackney Carriage Consultation, Licensing, Town Hall, Lancaster, LA1 1PJ. The deadline for making representations is 31st March 2013

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