Renfrewshire residents will be consulted on potential changes to the way taxis and private hire cars are licensed.
Councillors on Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board approved a consultation period to seek views on a range of issues including the minimum size of private hire cars, the number of passengers allowed in wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles, and the maximum age of vehicles licensed.
Currently, taxis may be licensed for up to eight years, but the proposed changes would see zero emissions and electric taxis able to be licensed for up to 15 years and electric private hire vehicles up to 10 years.
Under the proposals, taxis and private hire vehicles would be able to be no older than five years old when first licensed and private hire vehicles could be required to have a minimum of five seats and meet a new minimum luggage capacity.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles will also be consulted upon to identify whether rear-loading should continue and if a single, solid ramp should be required for those vehicles.
Councillor John McNaughtan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board, said: “We want to find out what our communities think about the current taxi and private hire licensing requirements and whether these need to change or be updated.
“In recognising that there is a climate emergency, we want to encourage a move from petrol and diesel-powered vehicles to electric.
“We are investigating how we can make it more appealing for taxi and private hire operators to use these low-emission vehicles and allowing them to be licensed for a longer period could be one of those ways.
“The consultation takes in a wide range of issues, including making taxi and private hire vehicles easier and more comfortable to use for everyone, so please submit your views and have your say on the future of taxi licensing in Renfrewshire.”
The consultation period will last for eight weeks and the responses will be returned to the Board for consideration
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Image: Author; Thomas Nugent