Taxi drivers in Cornwall have called for the Council to relax rules around the minimum 8-inch legroom requirement that all vehicles must meet saying the rule "could end drivers' careers". According to a report in the Cornwall Live, the council's miscellaneous licensing committee is set to consider a report on specifications for Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles in a meeting on Friday.
Current rules for taxi and private hire drivers in Cornwall says that the minimum legroom available to any passenger must be eight inches (200mm) which is measured from the edge of the seat cushion to the rear of the seat or object in front. Taxi drivers have stressed that some of the more modern vehicles that they would like to consider for the job do not meet the requirements due to centre consoles and air conditioning units and are asking for the council to reconsider the rule.
They have also highlighted their concerns over the possible issues surrounding the potential plans to implement a 10-year age limit for licensed vehicles.
Cabbies say that many modern vehicles do not offer the 8-inch gap required so it will make it hard to purchase a vehicle which meets both requirements.
Taxi drivers are now requesting the council consider altering the guidelines so that the gap has to be a minimum of six inches. In a report to the committee, licensing officers have said that there is a possibility that the requirement could be removed and officers could make a judgement themselves on whether vehicles are comfortable. It states: "Part of the consideration when licensing vehicles is to ensure that vehicles are comfortable. "Officers have seen vehicles that don’t meet the leg room specification but consider the vehicle to be comfortable. In contrast, there could be cases where the leg room requirement is met yet the vehicle is not comfortable for the number of passengers requested. In this regard officers feel it could be appropriate to remove the requirement but allowing delegated authority to determine if they feel each passenger has sufficient leg room to be comfortable when the vehicle is full to the capacity applied for." They suggest that an example would be if an officer's knees are touching the seat or nearest object in front.
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