Plymouth taxi driver licence fees reduced by 10 per cent
TAXI drivers have been given a big tip by city councillors.
Members of Plymouth City Council's taxi licensing committee agreed yesterday to cut the fees they charge for hackney carriages and private hire drivers by 10per cent.
By law the council, which administers taxis in the city, must charge enough to cover the full cost of the licensing including enforcement.
The committee heard yesterday that the hackney carriage taxi reserve account was expected to be £5,000 in the red at the end of this financial year, in March.
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But the private hire account will have a surplus of £200,000. Cutting licence fees by 10per cent across the board will bring the reserves down to a healthy £85,000 by 2015/16.
The changes will be advertised in The Herald and 21 days will be allowed for objections. If no one objects the fee change will happen within two months after the advertisement.
Plymouth has 367 hackney carriages and 797 private hire cars. Between April and November last year 2,149 applications were received for new licences or for the renewal, transfer, cancellation or surrender of existing licences.
There were 423 vehicle checks which found 322 cars with one or more failures to meet the required standards.
Under the proposed changes the driving standards test fee will be cut by £10. Hackney carriage owners will see their vehicle licence fee cut from £318.75 to £289 and the driver's licence from £164.10 to £147.
Private hire drivers will see their vehicle licence fee cut from £120 to £108 and the driver's licence from £91.60 to £82.
David Trace, managing director of Taxifirst, said: "Any cost savings are good, providing that they can still balance the books.
"I understand they are trying to give something back to the trade and 10per cent will be welcomed by everyone."