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Cabbies' fury over new taxi licensing fees

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Cabbies' fury over new taxi licensing fees

Post by Admin on Mon 9 Feb 2009 - 2:43

Marc Waddington

LIVERPOOL taxi firms have blasted plans to nearly double the cost of licensing their vehicles.
The council has proposed a 92% increase for renewing licences and a 75% rise in the price of sitting the "knowledge test".
But taxi companies warned it will be a financial blow to drivers already struggling because of the economic downturn.
The council's licensing department is expecting a 212,000 shortfall this year, and even with the new charges there would still be a 33,000 black hole.
But city bosses say although the charges could go up they are trying to ease the burden on drivers by offering new, one-year licences so new drivers can get
a taste for the business without having to pay for a 720 five-year licence.
Liverpool council has not revised its fees for 10 years, but is now looking to increase the cost of renewing a licence from 26 to 50, or 125 every three
years.
A report put to yesterday's licensing committee said that 'due to the current financial downturn it is possible that the number of operators' licences will
increase in the next 12 months.
'Allowing applicants the choice of a one or five-year licence will give them a chance to see if the business is right for them without having incurred the
charges of a five year licence.'
The new charges will come on top of the statutory 36 Criminal Records Bureau checks. Duplicate licenses and replacement plates are set to go up from 10 to
15.
There will also be a new 40 charge if cabbies want to transfer their licence to another driver. Currently there is no charge.
Derek Moon, of cab firm Davy Liver, said: 'There's more and more people who come out of work who want to be cab drivers.
'If there's 500 more drivers then there's 500 less people going out, 500 less fares.
'I would urge the council to think again.'
If there are no objections, the charges will increase on April 6.

http://m.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/ms/p/tmg/livdp/view.m?id=363738&tid=351780&channel=News&section=Liverpool+News&cat=News
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