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15 year taxi vehicle age limit set to be DITCHED by council after driver concerns over new cab costs

The 15-year age limit on taxi and private hire vehicles (PHV) in Hyndburn could be scrapped after mounting concerns from drivers about the financial viability around buying new taxis.

Councillors have recommended ditching the age limits completely to allow members of the trade who maintain their vehicles to a high standard to continue to be issued with a licence.

Under the new proposals all Taxis and PHVs must however be under the age of 10 years when first licensed in the area.

If a licensed vehicle over the age of 15 years fails to be properly maintained by the owner and fails a test on 3 consecutive occasions, it will be deemed no longer suitable to be licensed by this Authority.

Hyndburn Council's cabinet are set to meet on 25 January to discuss the proposals set in the report.

Wendy Redfern, Licensing Manager, said in the report: "A consultation has recently been carried out with the taxi trade and public to consider whether the upper age limit to which a vehicle can be remain licensed should be removed.

"This is based on drivers' complaints about the financial difficulties of having to buy newer vehicles.

"If the age limit was removed the testing regime should help to ensure that only vehicles that are safe and suitable and in good condition are licensed.

"The council should ensure that a robust testing system remains in place especially if the age limit is removed.

"There were 52 responses to the consultation. Of those 10 are against the removal of the age limit and 42 in favour.

"An analysis of vehicle spot checks does show that the older the vehicle that is checked the more likely it is to have faults.

"Whilst it may be perfectly reasonable for a proprietor who has maintained his vehicle to a high standard to wish to continue to license it beyond the age of 15, a change would open the floodgates for people to buy old unsuitable vehicles and try to get them licensed.

"If members are minded to remove the upper age limit, they may wish a condition that the maximum age that a vehicle can be when first submitted for licensing is 10 years old."

If the amendments are given the green light the changes are expected to be closely monitored over a 3-year period.

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