Court rules in favour of council over taxi licence refusal costing driver over £1,000 


A former Bury hackney carriage taxi driver has lost an appeal against the council's decision to refuse a renewal of his cab licence.


In March of this year, taxi driver Ajmal Khan had his licence renewal denied after the licensing authority were advised of major faults highlighted during his vehicle's inspections.

The vehicle had notched up nine faults, exceeding the maximum of five faults permitted under council policy for vehicles over 10-years-old.


Details advising of the council's policy on vehicle faults were made public, explaining that prior to February 2006, Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years old were not licensed by Bury Council unless the vehicle was in ‘exceptional condition’.


On 2 February 2006, following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association, the Licensing and Safety Panel reviewed the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria and resolved to allow vehicles to be licensed beyond 10 years of age subject to the vehicle passing requisite inspections with no more than 5 faults being identified (‘the 5 fault rule’).


This Policy has been reviewed since the above date and on 8 May 2014 the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report relating to the review of current Policies relating to the Licensing and testing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles.


Members resolved that the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria be re-introduced for Hackney Carriages at 10 years old as an incentive to encourage proactive maintenance and provide for additional testing requirements where vehicles fall below acceptable standards.


In addition, existing licence holders be allowed a 3 year transitional period should they have made financial plans in respect of their vehicle to allow them to be licensed subject to the 5 fault rule.


On 27 July 2017, the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association represented by Mr Giles Bridge, requesting the Council consider a 15 year age Policy and review whether the five fault rule or the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria should apply to all Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years of age.


Members resolved unanimously that approval be given to continue with the current licensing and testing policy in relation to Hackney Carriage vehicles up to 10 years of age and then require the vehicle to be subject to the 5 fault rule.


According to a report on Bury Times, at a hearing at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on September 10, magistrates upheld the licensing panel's decision and awarded the council £1,000 in costs.


Mr Khan was ordered to pay the sum, plus his own fees.


Image credit; Pixabay

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