Glasgow has become the first Scottish city to introduce a cap on private hire car and taxi licenses. A consultation conducted by Local Transport Projects on behalf of Glasgow City Council showed a dramatic rise in the number of private hire vehicles working in the city. Between 2008 to 2013 the number of private hire vehicles registered in Glasgow had reduced from 2,805 to 2,638 but has since risen to 3,759 as of last year.
Members of the council’s licensing committee agreed to cap the number of taxis and private hire vehicles licensed, despite some concerns that the public may have to wait longer for a cab during peak periods. Glasgow already limit the number of taxis allowed to be licensed to 1,420, but have introduced an upper limit of 1,420 and and a lower limit of 1,278 taxis. The council also agreed an upper limit of 3,759 and lower limit of 3,383 for private hire cars. According to Glasgow Live, both private hire and taxi firms backed the cap. John Cassidy of Network said: “We are pushing for this. Our full time drivers need to be able to make a living. This will help.” Steven Grant, secretary of Glasgow Cab Section, said: “Members made the right decision today. This is what’s best for our trade and our city. Earlier this week the Glasgow Cab Section said via Facebook: “Glasgow Cab Section have been lobbying the Council relentlessly for the past couple of years to cap the number of Private Car Licences being issued in the city. “On Wednesday 17th April the Licensing & Regulatory Committee have the opportunity to do the right thing, not only for the city’s beleaguered Taxi & Private Hire industries, but also for the much maligned air quality around the City Centre. “The committee will consider the terms of the independent assessment of the provision, use and demand for the services of Private Hire cars and Taxis in Glasgow. “Having sat at countless joint Taxi & Private Hire meetings at the Council, the vast majority of companies are in favour of a cap being put in place, as without it the race to the bottom will continue unabated. “Let’s hope the Licensing Committee have the strength of character and morality to forge ahead with a cap without any further delay.”
Taxi image: LEVC