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Sheffield taxi driver criticises council for imposing 'unfair' rules favouring out-of-town cabbies

A Sheffield taxi driver has criticised the council for imposing unfair licensing rules that favour out-of-town cabbies who work in the city.

Taxi driver Yazid Atallah, who wrote an open letter to the council on behalf of local drivers, said that Sheffield has some of the highest standards in the UK, which make it harder and more expensive for them to operate. He claimed that many drivers from Wolverhampton are able to work in Sheffield with less stringent requirements and lower costs.

According to Atallah, Sheffield drivers need to complete a professional course, safeguard training, a knowledge test and a driving test to get their licence. They also have to comply with strict vehicle age limits and emission standards, which affect their income and competitiveness. On the other hand, he said that Wolverhampton drivers can get their licence in a day, without any driving or knowledge test, and use older and cheaper vehicles.

The Sheffield Star reports that he has urged the council to relax some of the 'draconian measures' around the age of vehicles and to address the issue of out-of-area licensing, which he said poses a threat to public safety and local business. He said that Sheffield drivers are being penalised for 'going about things the right way' and following the rules.

Atallah said: "It is easy to obtain a Wolverhampton private hire licence. The course can be completed in a day, there is no driving test or even an extensive knowledge test required. They can use any vehicle they want, regardless of the age or the emission level."

The council responded that they are not in a position to tighten up the out-of-area licensing rules, as they are set by the Secretary of State. They said that they have written to the Government to express their frustration and to ask for a review of the situation. They also said that they have high standards for licensing and vehicle quality, which are meant to ensure public safety.


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