Wakefield taxi drivers' petition successful as council alters policy

Taxi drivers have scored a win in their bid to change how they are licensed, after claiming tight regulations left them out of pocket.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 9:40 am

Local cabbies wanted Wakefield Council to relax its rules, which meant drivers using vehicles over five years old needed to have their licence renewed every six months.

The council has now agreed that such cars will now only need to be licenced every year, in line with vehicles under five years old.

Wakefield's two taxi driving unions had called for the change, because renewing a licence costs drivers £120.

Vehicles over five years will now be insured on a one year-basis.
Vehicles over five years will now be insured on a one year-basis.

Vehicles over five years old will still be tested twice a year however, in the interests of public safety.

The consultant representing the Wakefield and District Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Association (WDHPHA) welcomed the news.

Speaking at a licensing committee on Wednesday, where the council confirmed the change, Chris Woodrow of A2Z licensing said: "The association supports the move.

"It's purely an administrative change. There's no safety issue here.

Hackney carriages in Wakefield city centre.

"It will save drivers time and money. Potentially it will also reduce plastic waste because fewer licence plates will be issued.

"So it's fully supported."

Waj Ali, the driver who started the petition, said questions remained over costs and that he was still waiting for confirmation that cabbies would not be charged for two renewals at the start of each year.

However, he said the move was "a step in the right direction".

Mr Ali, speaking on behalf of the Wakefield Drivers Association (WDA) after the meeting, said: "It's been a long time coming, but it does show that the council are willing to listen and engage with us.

"They've taken our points on board, but we still need to be sure that drivers are going to be saving money from this."

Local Democracy Reporting Service