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Taxi rules change will hit me so hard, says Baildon driver
A cabbie claims a new ban on six and eight-seater taxis in Bradford will cost his business thousands of pounds.
Bradford Council has decided that it will no longer grant taxi licences to six- or eight-seater vehicles because of safety fears.
Earlier this month, a Regulatory and Appeals Panel decided that all passengers should be able to get out of taxis in an emergency, without having to move or climb over a seat.
Officers have recommended that cabbies remove one seat in such a vehicle if they want to get a licence to trade.
Vehicles which are already licensed will not be affected.
But one cabbie has criticised the move, saying it will cost his business at least £10,000 a year in lost revenue.
Mr Fryer, who runs an eight-seater Mercedes Vito, said while he wouldn’t be forced to change his current vehicle, he would be affected when the time came to replace it.
He said: “All the eight-seaters are the same design, whether it’s a Mercedes, a Volkswagen or a Ford. They all have a sliding door on the side and a tip-up seat to get to the back three seats.
“I personally would lose £10,000 a year, because that’s most of my business. That’s 20 per cent of my turnover just gone, just like that.”
And he said if such strict safety rules were also applied to private cars, it would affect all three-door small cars.
Committee chairman Councillor David Warburton was unavailable for comment.
But in a report given to the panel on the day, Council officers said: “It is the view and recommendation of officers that no passenger in a vehicle should have to move a seat, climb over a seat or be obstructed in any way from entering or exiting a vehicle in an emergency.
“During consultation with the trade this could not be agreed.
“The trade’s view is that they want as many seats/customers as possible in a vehicle. Officers maintain that customer safety must be the first priority over small additional income that may be received for one extra seat.”
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