Pendle Council’s Executive will be asked to increase the age limit of hackney and private hire vehicles to 12 years at its meeting on Tuesday.
The recommendation has been made by the council’s Taxi Licensing Committee following a request from the trade due to financial pressure s and lack of business.
The current age limit for licensed vehicles is up to seven years when first licensed and can continue to be licensed until they reach nine years of age and for wheelchair accessible vehicles seven through to 12 years of age.
Taxi tests are carried out once a year for vehicles one to three years old, twice a year for vehicles over three years old and for a vehicle failing on serious faults three times a year until it has passed three consecutive tests with no faults.
This age limit was introduced in 2009 due to the high number of vehicles failing spot checks. The previous limit was eight years when first licensed through to 10 years.
Since the age limit was introduced in 2009, 13 spot checks have been carried out resulting in 229 vehicles being tested with 118 being taken off the road with mechanical faults. This equates to a failure rate of 52%.
Consideration to extending the age limit has been considered many times by the Taxi Licensing Committee and the Executive on numerous occasions, with the last one being in May, 2012 when it was agreed that no change be made.
A petition from the Hackney Carriage Driver’s Association was considered at a meeting of the Taxi Licensing Committee on February 13th.
The petition had 58 signatures in favour of increasing the age limit due to increasing financial pressures and lack of business, meaning them having to work longer hours to make the same wages, affecting them and their families.