Make your mind up, council tells cabbies

Taxis in Worcester are still threatening legal action

Taxis in Worcester are still threatening legal action

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

COUNCIL chiefs in Worcester are pleading with taxi drivers to make up their minds over a possible High Court legal battle - with politicians saying they want to find a solution.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the body representing city cabbies has still not withdrawn the threat of a court challenge, despite indicating in April that the process was likely to be shelved.

Both sides are at loggerheads over a new council policy to tighten up the age criteria which forces drivers to buy brand new vehicles once their current one is deemed too old.

Prior to last November once the car reached around 12, taxi owners were allowed to replace them with vehicles aged up to three.

New taxi vehicles straight off the production line cost around £40,000 to buy, whereas older ones aged up to three sell at around £10,000.

The city's licensing committee now says it wants ideas from the drivers as to what policy they would prefer - an olive branch designed to try and avoid an expensive court battle.

Councillor Roger Knight, who sits on the committee, said: "We really need a proposal to come from them.

"We need to know what they want in terms of the age of the vehicles, otherwise we'll end up coming up with another (watered down) policy that the drivers still aren't happy with."

Both sides did meet in May in an attempt to meet each other halfway, but it ended without the taxi trade putting forward any alternative.

Councillors were hoping to be able to vote on a new, watered-down policy this month but it will now not be possible.

Councillor Paul Denham, who also sits on the licensing committee, said: "There was an absolute invitation to the trade to come forward with an idea last month, but they came to that meeting without any proposal whatsoever."

Worcester Taxi Drivers Association says the trade is not prepared to cancel the legal action until it is happy with a new policy.

More talks are now planned between both parties to see if they can reach a breakthrough.

Lesley Borthwick, from the association, said: "It's still ongoing at the moment - in terms of the legal action we can't withdraw until everything has been ironed out."

Comments (8)

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6:04pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Spetchley Dave says...

Last time I checked it wasn't up to the Council to make the drivers happy. They tell the taxicabs what to do not vice versa! The tail seems to be wagging the dog here? Weak councillors again bowing down to taxi drivers.
Last time I checked it wasn't up to the Council to make the drivers happy. They tell the taxicabs what to do not vice versa! The tail seems to be wagging the dog here? Weak councillors again bowing down to taxi drivers. Spetchley Dave
  • Score: 13

9:17pm Tue 17 Jun 14

New Kid on the Block says...

Why should a driver be forced to buy a brand new Taxi.
If a three year old vehicle is deemed to have 9 years of useful life what it wrong with a driver purchasing a three year old vehicle.
What is important is that all vehicles are properly maintained, taxed and insured.
Why should a driver be forced to buy a brand new Taxi. If a three year old vehicle is deemed to have 9 years of useful life what it wrong with a driver purchasing a three year old vehicle. What is important is that all vehicles are properly maintained, taxed and insured. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 3

9:22pm Tue 17 Jun 14

robbo1664 says...

to many taxis in worcester and as i said before the drivers sit on the cross on the phones or chatting making very little money and claiming tax credits...its time the tax office checked the mileage that way they could work out what a driver was really making.....force them to buy a brand new taxi then lets see who can really afford it my betting is most of them......there all fiddling there taxes.....
to many taxis in worcester and as i said before the drivers sit on the cross on the phones or chatting making very little money and claiming tax credits...its time the tax office checked the mileage that way they could work out what a driver was really making.....force them to buy a brand new taxi then lets see who can really afford it my betting is most of them......there all fiddling there taxes..... robbo1664
  • Score: 4

9:24pm Tue 17 Jun 14

sparky1964 says...

It's about time our councillors got on top this on going situation. Taxis are sometimes the first people see of Worcester when stepping out of the train stations and old battered vehicles hardly sets a good first impression. If three year old vehicles are plentiful it seems other councils are even more stringent on ages of vehicles ? .
I would also suggest older vehicles are more expensive to maintain and create more pollution, which is very noticeable walking past the taxi ranks when they all leave the engines running.
So as a compromise bring in the new vehicle rule in 2 years which gives plenty of time for our taxi owners to amend their business plans and make provisions to finance them.
It's about time our councillors got on top this on going situation. Taxis are sometimes the first people see of Worcester when stepping out of the train stations and old battered vehicles hardly sets a good first impression. If three year old vehicles are plentiful it seems other councils are even more stringent on ages of vehicles ? . I would also suggest older vehicles are more expensive to maintain and create more pollution, which is very noticeable walking past the taxi ranks when they all leave the engines running. So as a compromise bring in the new vehicle rule in 2 years which gives plenty of time for our taxi owners to amend their business plans and make provisions to finance them. sparky1964
  • Score: 6

9:35pm Tue 17 Jun 14

robbo1664 says...

sparky1964 wrote:
It's about time our councillors got on top this on going situation. Taxis are sometimes the first people see of Worcester when stepping out of the train stations and old battered vehicles hardly sets a good first impression. If three year old vehicles are plentiful it seems other councils are even more stringent on ages of vehicles ? .
I would also suggest older vehicles are more expensive to maintain and create more pollution, which is very noticeable walking past the taxi ranks when they all leave the engines running.
So as a compromise bring in the new vehicle rule in 2 years which gives plenty of time for our taxi owners to amend their business plans and make provisions to finance them.
lol at amend there business plans.....there plan is to sit on the rank in the day making very little then work thurs fri sat nite and declare very little to the tax office...then claim all the tax credits they can........
[quote][p][bold]sparky1964[/bold] wrote: It's about time our councillors got on top this on going situation. Taxis are sometimes the first people see of Worcester when stepping out of the train stations and old battered vehicles hardly sets a good first impression. If three year old vehicles are plentiful it seems other councils are even more stringent on ages of vehicles ? . I would also suggest older vehicles are more expensive to maintain and create more pollution, which is very noticeable walking past the taxi ranks when they all leave the engines running. So as a compromise bring in the new vehicle rule in 2 years which gives plenty of time for our taxi owners to amend their business plans and make provisions to finance them.[/p][/quote]lol at amend there business plans.....there plan is to sit on the rank in the day making very little then work thurs fri sat nite and declare very little to the tax office...then claim all the tax credits they can........ robbo1664
  • Score: 4

11:56pm Tue 17 Jun 14

worcester citizen says...

The council handed a monopoly to the existing taxi drivers who are now in a position to abuse it. They do not have to worry whether any new operators with smart new cabs come along to take the trade. Imagine if coffee shop owners had the same monopoly powers, would they bother to upgrade their shops and make sure the coffee and cakes were the best they could possibly be. Of course they wouldn't because the customer would be forced to take what he/she was given, there would be nowhere else to go.
The council handed a monopoly to the existing taxi drivers who are now in a position to abuse it. They do not have to worry whether any new operators with smart new cabs come along to take the trade. Imagine if coffee shop owners had the same monopoly powers, would they bother to upgrade their shops and make sure the coffee and cakes were the best they could possibly be. Of course they wouldn't because the customer would be forced to take what he/she was given, there would be nowhere else to go. worcester citizen
  • Score: 3

11:44am Wed 18 Jun 14

Tobster says...

What's this 12 years business? Surely all that matters is that the vehicle is taxed, insured and properly maintained?
What's this 12 years business? Surely all that matters is that the vehicle is taxed, insured and properly maintained? Tobster
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Thu 19 Jun 14

robbo1664 says...

Tobster wrote:
What's this 12 years business? Surely all that matters is that the vehicle is taxed, insured and properly maintained?
an mot means nothing once the car leaves the test station....
[quote][p][bold]Tobster[/bold] wrote: What's this 12 years business? Surely all that matters is that the vehicle is taxed, insured and properly maintained?[/p][/quote]an mot means nothing once the car leaves the test station.... robbo1664
  • Score: 0

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