FENLAND: Controversial new penalty points system for taxi drivers likely to be shelved

CONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce a penalty point system for taxi drivers are set to be altered by Fenland District Council, after a consultation process came to a close.The point system – that could have led to the suspension of offending drivers – was p

CONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce a penalty point system for taxi drivers are set to be altered by Fenland District Council, after a consultation process came to a close.

The point system – that could have led to the suspension of offending drivers – was proposed as part of wide-ranging proposals to change the licensing system for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles.

However, the council’s licensing committee will be told next Thursday that, at the present time, “it would not be appropriate to push for adoption of the current proposals”.

A council spokesman said: “The hackney carriage drivers like a lot of the proposal, but there were some things they did not like.


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“We have taken their comments on board and will put forward a revised proposal.”

Back in August, the licensing committee was told about proposals for a unified licence for drivers of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles, putting them all under the same set of conditions. It was proposed that a penalty point system would go live in April next year.

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However, some cabbies objected to the proposals, with some forming the Wisbech and District Hackney Carriage Drivers Association to fight the plans.

A report to the committee’s meeting next week says the proposals “generally received a negative response from the trade,” although some suggestions were considered beneficial.

It is suggested that officers continue with their consultation to reform licensing conditions.

In response to the expected delay Andrew Martin, vice-chairman of the Wisbech and District Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, said: “I am very pleased to hear those plans are not likely to go ahead at this time.

“We look forward to working with Fenland District Council in the future, and would like to thank all members of the Association for their continued support.”

Owner of Darts Taxis in March, Mark Holland, said he was pleased to hear that plans will be reconsidered, but he called for stronger regulation of taxis in a bid to stop vehicles being run illegally.

“We are paying to keep our motors on the road, but other firms are running around with vehicles that are not plated or insured as taxis,” he claimed.

“We still need some ruling, illegal taxis need to be stamped out. We need more enforcement in regard to school taxis.”

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