Updated: Aug 17, 2021
A Bristol City licensed taxi driver has had his request to have the vehicle maximum age limit extended by 6 months denied despite the driver stressing that he needs more time to earn enough money to purchase a new vehicle which would meet the council's licensing requirements.
During a meeting, held between the council's licensing committee and the applicant, whose mother was in attendance as he was is in hospital at the time of the hearing, it was heard that the vehicle in question was first registered in 2011.
It is council policy not to renew licences for vehicles older that 10 years. A spokesperson for the council said this policy is in place to "contribute to better air quality in the city" so the applicant must give reasons for the committee to divert from this policy.
The hackney carriage driver, only referred to as ZR in council documents, had requested an extension of 6 months to earn enough money to secure a replacement vehicle.
The council were told how ZR and his family were in a difficult financial situation and in need of an extension for this vehicle to secure funds for a replacement.
The family has a fleet of vehicles but stressed that COVID has made their maintenance and replacement difficult.
After questioning from the committee, the following information was confirmed:
The vehicle is large and well suited to taxi work.
It has no defects and has passed its MOT every time.
All vehicles are checked weekly and receive regular servicing.
They believe selling the vehicle now would be wasteful.
The committee determined to refuse the application for the renewal of a Hackney Carriage Vehicle licence seeking departure from the Council’s Hackney Carriage Vehicle Policy.
The policy states that any vehicle first registered between 1st January 2011 and 31st August 2015 can be relicensed until 10 years from date of first registration. ZR’s vehicle was first registered on 24th April 2011 and as it is over 10 years since first registration no longer complies with the Policy.
The committee said it was not satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to justify departure from the Policy. A spokesperson said "personal and financial circumstances are not a relevant consideration when making a decision".