Taxi drivers are incensed after Coventry City Council approved a change in vehicle licensing criteria which could decimate the taxi industry in the area.
The licensing change could see cab drivers having to fork out over £60,000 to replace their vehicle after new regulations from January 2020, will see only vehicles that are Euro 4 (and above) compliant licensed in the area. All new vehicles will have to be zero-emission capable.
To assist taxi drivers who wish to make the switch, the council are offering a £2,591 incentive to the first 60 drivers to help cover the cost.
The change in criteria was approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Furious cabbies were ordered out of the meeting after they protested the decision.
The change comes hot on the heels of a 39% increase in driver licence fees. Coventry Live reported that some cabbies are complaining of a 60-70% drop in income while costs continually rise. One driver stated that by January a lot of drivers could be out of work.
There were concerns raised that despite there being a consultation, a lot of drivers may have avoided taking part in it due to language issues.
Deputy council leader Cllr Abdul Khan admitted that the new vehicle costs would likely force cabbies into “a tough decision”.
He said: “We sympathise with the decision but we are doing that on the basis of hitting our emission targets.”
Image Source: Geograph
Image Author: Andy F