Taxi driver cap in Worcester due for February launch

Worcester News: Taxi drivers in Worcester's Foregate Street Taxi drivers in Worcester's Foregate Street

A CRACKDOWN on taxi driver numbers in Worcester will finally come into force in February - with a consultation now launching so you can have a say.

The city council has made a call for opinions from the public on how many hackney carriages Worcester needs.

It follows a decade-long spiral in the number of cabbies on the streets, which now stands at 311, 256 of whom are hackneys.

Back in 2001 it was just 102, with claims that the current tally is increasing pollution, causing traffic problems and making it harder for existing drivers to make a living.

A cap on numbers, which would be an historic first for Worcester, is widely backed by the cabbies themselves.

A consultation has now launched and will run until Friday, January 17 ahead of a crunch meeting in February to set a limit.

Your Worcester News can also reveal that part of the deal will see existing drivers hit with higher yearly fees, to pay for more regular surveys of taxi demand.

From now on, independent surveys will take place every three years to assess if the limits need to ever alter.

Councillor Paul Denham, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “We all understand we cannot take away someone’s right to carry on being a driver, but we can set a limit and not issue any more until the numbers have fallen.

“My personal gut feeling is that we’ve probably got twice as many as we need.

“We do need to bring the numbers down and the consultation is important because we want a good spread of people’s opinions.”

The limit only affect hackney carriages, which are allowed to park at the ranks, and not private hire ones, which just react to phone call requests.

It follows an independent survey in September, which was paid for by the taxi trade, suggesting there is no demand which is going unmet.

Mohammed Saig, a Worcester taxi driver, aged 48, said: “The number of taxis are way too high and it’s been a problem for years.

“Anything to cap it is long overdue.”

The consultation can be completed online at www.worcester.gov.uk/voiceit. Printed copies are available from the Guildhall in Worcester or The Hive, or by calling 01527 881395 or emailing wrsenquiries@worcsregservices.gov.uk.

The licensing and environmental health committee is meeting on Wednesday, February 12 to finalise it.

Comments (4)

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6:16pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Guy66 says...

One area is set a criteria for the age, mileage, condition of the Taxi's - say no more than 5 years old and no more than 150K miles - clean oh course :)
One area is set a criteria for the age, mileage, condition of the Taxi's - say no more than 5 years old and no more than 150K miles - clean oh course :) Guy66

10:57pm Fri 20 Dec 13

jb says...

Most of the taxi drivers seem to know each other so how come they can't sort something out between themselves? ......
Most of the taxi drivers seem to know each other so how come they can't sort something out between themselves? ...... jb

12:24pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

They may well seem to know each other but that's probably from the Mosque where they all vacate the Taxi ranks twice daily to attend prayers, so there are no on-rank services available for these periods.
However there is more than one taxi company, several private owners, and from different communities who are extremely competitive. So Worcester City Licensing Committee who are responsible for this mess shouldn't wait for volunteers to stop working the ranks.
The picture shows a taxi deliberatley parking where it is considered OVER RANKING and does carry a Fine of over £100 but when has a Taxi driver been booked within the past few years?
They Park where they like, on the Footpaths , in the Loading bays, in the Bus Stops, and the Traffic Wardens amble past on their way to catch someone with a Blue Badges that are not showing the correct time, or have overstayed their time. They are called soft Targets and the wardens do very well from the vulnerable and Elderly, whilst leaving the Taxis, WHY I WONDER. Perhaps Andy Chinn might have the answer?
They may well seem to know each other but that's probably from the Mosque where they all vacate the Taxi ranks twice daily to attend prayers, so there are no on-rank services available for these periods. However there is more than one taxi company, several private owners, and from different communities who are extremely competitive. So Worcester City Licensing Committee who are responsible for this mess shouldn't wait for volunteers to stop working the ranks. The picture shows a taxi deliberatley parking where it is considered OVER RANKING and does carry a Fine of over £100 but when has a Taxi driver been booked within the past few years? They Park where they like, on the Footpaths , in the Loading bays, in the Bus Stops, and the Traffic Wardens amble past on their way to catch someone with a Blue Badges that are not showing the correct time, or have overstayed their time. They are called soft Targets and the wardens do very well from the vulnerable and Elderly, whilst leaving the Taxis, WHY I WONDER. Perhaps Andy Chinn might have the answer? Jabbadad

10:15pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Taxi comments says...

Hi . All i want to say about the new plats for the hackney carriage I think it's over loaded as there we can't find space on the rank then I have to go back home . Therefore should be cap on new plats .and also to buy a brand new car is unaffordable . So it should be three years old . Thanks . Regards
Hi . All i want to say about the new plats for the hackney carriage I think it's over loaded as there we can't find space on the rank then I have to go back home . Therefore should be cap on new plats .and also to buy a brand new car is unaffordable . So it should be three years old . Thanks . Regards Taxi comments

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