Keighley taxi boss blasts moves to relax cab licensing conditions in the district (From Keighley News)
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Keighley taxi boss blasts moves to relax cab licensing conditions in the district
7:00am Friday 16th August 2013 in Keighley
A Keighley taxi boss has blasted moves to relax cab licensing conditions in the district.
Councillors have backed various changes, including slashing the minimum age for drivers from 21 to 18.
The measures would also allow the use of vehicles up to ten years old, instead of the current eight.
Stuart Hastings, owner of Metro Taxis in Church Street, described the proposals as “madness”. “A taxi should be as new as possible, and after five years, off the road,” he said.
“The average age of our vehicles is between two-and-a-half and three years, and we service them regularly and look after them properly. The car has got to be fit for purpose and that should be the operator’s responsibility, even if the driver owns the vehicle.
“These changes will be bad for the safety of customers and are to look after taxi drivers rather than the passenger.
“If anything, I don’t think procedures are strict enough. The industry should be policed more. If some people knew what they were riding around in, they wouldn’t get in the car.”
A recent Bradford Council report revealed four out of ten cabs in the district were failing random vehicle checks. And it highlighted a quarter of taxis and minicabs were not being produced for tests.
The changes are also opposed by Worth Valley councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservative group on the council.
He said reducing the minimum age for a driver to 18 would be “irresponsible towards the customers”.
“It is common knowledge young drivers have significantly more accidents than people who have been driving for a number of years,” he added.
But the new measures are welcomed by Keighley Central Labour councillor Abid Hussain.
He said: “It is a very difficult time for taxi businesses at the moment because of the recession. This is a good change, and means more people have the facilities and opportunity to run their own business.”
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