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Taxi Licensing Problems

August 16, 2013 by  

Presented by Councillor Christine Mason

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John and I have received representations from Taxi proprietors in the area regarding difficulties created by new conditions imposed by Rochford District Council.

Apparently the main problem is the requirement for one in three Badges to be issued to a ‘wheelchair accessible taxi’. These vehicles are by their very nature more expensive to both purchase and maintain.

Whilst the intention of the Disability Acts and Equality Acts are to assist people with mobility issues it would appear that the Council’s new decision on Licensing has actually created a problem rather than resolving it.

According to the information I have been given (along with other Councillors) only 7% of their customers have any mobility issues and less than 0.5% request wheelchair accessible vehicles so the need for 33% of vehicles to accommodate this need would appear to be overkill.

Surely it is better for a firm providing transport to have a range of vehicles that could cater for differing needs.

Personal feedback I have received on ‘wheelchair accessible vehicles’ is that they are invariably very high and certainly some elderly infirm passengers say they prefer a low saloon car. Also modern wheelchairs can fit into a wide range of vehicles. I observed one being used from a soft top sports car outside my house only last week (don’t ask me for the type of car, not my area of expertise!)

I do hope that this can be resolved by the Portfolio Holder at Rochford urgently so that our taxi drivers are able to continue to both provide a service to the community as well as earning a reasonable wage.

We would hate to see cars taken of the circuits because of inflexible rules.

If any resident wishes their views to be taken into account please contact us and we will pass these views on.

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