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Reintroducing 7-year Glasgow PHV age limits will hit finances and impact public safety says SPHA

Updated: Sep 22, 2022



Glasgow Private Pire Vehicles (PHV) drivers are up in arms at plans to reintroduce a licensing rule that will see vehicles more than seven-years-old taken off the road.


Glasgow City Council (GCC) are considering reintroducing the licensing rule which was temporarily suspended during the height of the pandemic to help drivers. The move allowed PHV drivers to keep their vehicles on the road at a time when work levels slumped to an all-time low.

The Scottish Private Hire Association (SPHA) have however urged the council to reconsider KEEPING the relaxed rules post-pandemic to help drivers fully recover from the pandemic and to ensure public safety.


The rule had been in place since 2006, which also meant no car more than five-years-old would be granted a licence and cars had to be taken out of service after seven.

In a letter sent to GCC by Eddie Grice, SPHA General Secretary, it read: “I have spoken to many, many drivers recently about this policy and there exists a large degree of anxiety amongst drivers in regards to the age limit being reimposed.


“There introduction of the 7 year age limit will have a significant impact on drivers’ finances.”

Grice goes on to share concerns over current long waiting times to purchase new vehicles quoting nine to 12 months delays. The General Secretary was also concerned that the PHV industry has yet to recover from the pandemic, despite a return to high work levels since final restrictions were dropped.


Grice added: “All this coming as we are still in the mode of rebuilding from the negative effects of the pandemic. Reintroducing a 7 year age limit will have a profoundly negative effect on private hire drivers.”


In the letter there were also concerns that the added costs for a new PHV would have a NEGATIVE impact on driver and passenger safety. Grice said: “The primary purpose of vehicle age limits is supposed to be to ensure vehicle safety. This ties with the chief remit of Licensing being to ensure public safety.

“We put it to you that in the current economic climate and after considering all material circumstances aforementioned, the reintroduction of a 7 year age limit for private hire cars will likely lead to many drivers having to work more hours to be able to justify the ever climbing costs facing the trade and to be able to create enough income to keep afloat. If drivers are forced to work more hours to be able to earn enough to survive, then this will have a knock on effect on public safety.

“Drivers working 50 to 60 hours per week is already very common in the trade, but if things get harder for them it will not be surprising to see drivers working even more hours than this. We then run the risk of driver fatigue. The economic strain will force them to work longer shifts with more hours and miles on the road. This could lead to road traffic incidents and, quite possibly, injuries or fatalities. Arguments of economics cannot be lightly dismissed by Licensing as those economic factors ultimately dictate how many hours a driver must work for, which in turn has an impact on, both, driver and public safety.”

In summary, the letter concluded: “With everything said so far in mind, the SPHA does not oppose vehicle age limits in principle. However, due to the current material circumstances and economic climate, we do view the age limit of seven years as too low.


“Therefore, if the Committee is minded to reintroduce the age limit policy, then we strongly urge you to put forward a motion to amend the question put before you on Wednesday. Please move to amend the upper age limit from 7 years to 10 years.”

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