Member of Parliament for Bradford West, Naz Shah, has called for Bradford’s taxi and private hire licensing authority to extend the taxi and private hire vehicle maximum age limit to a further 12 months to assist drivers who are struggling financially.
The taxi trade has suffered immensely since the coronavirus pandemic, pushing some drivers into financial ruin.
Bradford’s licensing authority currently states that all taxi and private hire vehicles seeking to be re-plated must be less than 10 years old, and in the case of Hybrid or special access vehicles, this is 12 years.
Drivers who are due to re-plate their vehicles, and don’t meet such criteria, will be expected to fork out thousands on the purchase of a new vehicle.
Naz Shah is now asking that due to the unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus and its impact on the industry, that the council’s licensing authority extend a 12-month period for any driver who is due to purchase a new vehicle.
In the letter, made public by Naz Shah, the MP says: “Given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, taxi drivers are really struggling over the last 9 months. The drivers tell me that their loss of income has been devastating; many have to rely on local food banks for support. Even then, they are barely making ends meet.”
Shah went on to add that a new vehicle would cost drivers thousands of pounds; money they simply don’t have.
Shah continued: “These concerns have been brought about because of an international crisis and the great uncertainty this continues to bring. Given the above, I am asking that the council uses any permitted discretion to extend the age limit period for an extra 12 months, giving drivers with vehicle’s coming to the end of their age limit until 2022 to purchase a new vehicle.”