Advertising

Taxi licences bid in Telford fee row

Telford | News | Published:

More than 500 private hire drivers across Telford & Wrekin are planning to take advantage of a legal loophole to avoid a rise in licence fees. More than 500 private hire drivers across Telford & Wrekin are planning to take advantage of a legal loophole to avoid a rise in licence fees. The drivers are planning to give back their licences to Telford & Wrekin Council and instead apply for hackney carriage licences from Shropshire Council as the fees are lower. David Edwards, head of county public protection at Shropshire Council, said a hackney carriage licensed by Shropshire Council was able to undertake booked appointments anywhere in the country. Councillor Miles Hosken, cabinet member for community protection and cohesion at Telford & Wrekin, said there was case law that enabled private hire operators to apply for licences wherever they chose. Telford & Wrekin Council's decision would see the operator's annual licence fee rise from £462 to £2,495. More in today's paper

More than 500 private hire drivers across Telford & Wrekin are planning to take advantage of a legal loophole to avoid a rise in licence fees.

The drivers are planning to give back their licences to Telford & Wrekin Council and instead apply for hackney carriage licences from Shropshire Council as the fees are lower.

David Edwards, head of county public protection at Shropshire Council, said a hackney carriage licensed by Shropshire Council was able to undertake booked appointments anywhere in the country.

Councillor Miles Hosken, cabinet member for community protection and cohesion at Telford & Wrekin, said there was case law that enabled private hire operators to apply for licences wherever they chose.

Telford & Wrekin Council's decision would see the operator's annual licence fee rise from £462 to £2,495.

Mohammed Zaman, chairman of Telford Private Hire Drivers' Association, said: "The majority, if not all, of the private hire trade licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council have decided to become licensed in the hackney carriage trade with Shropshire Council.

"Unlike Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Council has clearly shown us that they are committed to providing the trade with an excellent customer service."

It was revealed during a meeting of the council's licensing committee in December that council tax payers were paying more than £40,000 annually to subsidise the cost of operating private hire vehicles in the borough. The council had said its aim was to reduce that burden.

Advertising

Currently a private hire driver's licence for 12 months costs £125, but this would rise to £170.

A 12-month licence with Shropshire Council costs £80, but that amount is currently under review.

Nigel Horler, chairman of Telford Private Hire Operators' Association, said: "It's a great shame that it's come to this, but as a trade, we all work very hard to provide the very best service to our customers."

Councillor Hosken added: "It is a matter for them which authority they apply to and a matter for the authority that receives the application as to whether it is granted."

By Jason Lavan

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top stories

Advertising

More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News