Furious private hire drivers (PHV) have threatened to take their vehicle licensing cross-border in growing frustration at Bury Council's stance over MOT problems.
During a meeting of the Licensing Committee there were calls for another MOT testing centre in the borough after representatives of the drivers association said that they felt there was a system of double standards which meant drivers would fail an MOT test at one garage, but pass with the same vehicle at another.
As a result of the situation PHV drivers have now threatened to go cross-border and have their vehicles licensed by another local authority while continuing to operate in Bury.
Representative of the Private Hire Drivers Association Shaf Mahmood told the meeting that in 1993 there were three test stations in Bury for around 400 drivers. He also made it clear that if drivers were to cross-border the council would lose around £200,000 in revenue and it could put people out of a job.
Muhammad Sajed, who is also a representative of the Private Hire Drivers Association, stated that ten years ago he was in the same hall demanding that there should be another MOT station.
Licensing unit manager Mr Bridge stated that the council were aware that a number of private hire vehicles licensed outside of Bury are now operating in the area. He also recognised that cross-bordering was not just a localised problem, but a UK wide issue, made permissible because of loopholes in private hire vehicle and taxi legislation dating back to 1976 and 1847 respectively.
According to the Bury Times, current MOT testing for both PHVs and taxis operating in Bury are carried out at a centre in Bolton. They were previously carried out at Bradley Fold station, but a recent fire meant that vehicle testing had to be relocated.
Image Source: Geograph
Image Author: David Dixon