Will new rules cut black cab numbers?

The number of black cabs allowed to operate in Norwich could be cut by tightening rules on what age vehicles can be used and by getting them to comply with an exhaust emissions standard, something of which should of been done a long time ago according to A2B taxis driver  Stephen Beckham (pictured) who has had 33 years experience in the taxi trade.

”There are too many black cabs in the city and  it is making it hard for us to make a living. There are currently more than 200 licensed black cabs in the city, but the council needs to restrict the numbers that can be allowed in the city” Stephen claims.

Norwich City Council’s licensing committee will discuss our request at a meeting on Thursday. Councillors at the meeting are being recommended not to determine a maximum number of licences that should be granted, but they are also urged to consider an alternative to placing a restriction on the number of hackney carriage licences issued by the council by changing the existing hackney carriage licence conditions or vehicle specification.

For example, the specification could be changed so all vehicles have to meet a certain exhaust emissions standard, there are far too many old cabs on the streets, this would tie in with European Union directives in respect of normal cars that require all new vehicles to be compliant with relevant standards by a certain date.

Also the licensing conditions could be changed in respect of the age of vehicles. The current conditions are that, on licensing, the age of the vehicle shall not exceed five years unless it’s been passed as being in exceptionally good condition, which is an ongoing joke between Norwich drivers as this rule is almost never enforced. Also the condition, in respect of how long the vehicle can be licensed, is that the age of the vehicle shall not exceed 10 years unless it’s in exceptionally good condition, yet another unenforced rule!

Stephen Beckham went on to say “If the council does agree to bring in those conditions that may resolve the issue. It could well do, but we will have to wait and see what happens at this week’s meeting. Anything that is going to reduce the number of black cabs in Norwich has got to be a good thing. I was earning more money 5 years ago, if it wasn’t for A2B Taxi Norwich to help me earn a decent living I’d be a lot worse off”

Until next time ~ your taxi news for Norwich commentator.

12 thoughts on “Will new rules cut black cab numbers?”

  1. lets hope they do it about time some of the bits of rubbish where took of the road
    does he think he is his name sake posing for a picture

  2. What a load of rubbish if I have to strap myself up like all the ones who are moaning about the number of black cabs there is, I would have to work more hours to pay for the finance as would every other driver with a OLD cab do there would be even more drivers out working
    As for the emission I think u will find that the tx4 is the worst in the city for emission that’s why you pay £400 a year tax

  3. Well stev that’s ok to say about the ten year rule but all it will do is put people like me out of a job as my cab is 8 yrs old and in good nick but I can’t afford to buy a new taxi in 2 years time nor could I raise the finance ??

  4. David The TX4 has significantly lower emissions than metrocabs.

    Any TXII or TX4 registered after 23rd March 2006 will pay the higher rate of £300.00 per year in 2007 and £400.00 per year after 1st April 2008. So those of us that have committed to the financial burden of purchasing a new taxi are now being penalised by this Government for running more environmentally friendly vehicles, so even thou newer vehicles are infact cleaner, they are also more expensive to tax!

    As for giving the public some value for their money with buying a newer vehicle, I commend any driver who buys a new cab. Also I agree with Matty maybe 12 years old is a better idea, but metrocabs should be put in the graveyard.

  5. Well in response to your comment David , if i were a Taxi customer , i for one wouldn’t pay to travel in alot of the cabs on the road , if you’re paying you deserve to be conveyed in a Clean,Comfortable, Smooth Vehicle, also With a driver who knows where his customers want/need to go , and not be handed a Sat Nav, as recently i see more & more with the influx of new licence holders, note i don’t call them Cab Drivers.

  6. These rules could not come in any sooner. For too long now the people of Norwich have had to put up with a horrific standard from too many of the taxis. I myself have owned Metro cabs and I can honestly say I was embarrassed to pick people up in them, maybe this is why so many of the drivers of these vehicles have little respect for keeping them clean(and often themselves clean!). I agree with Mr Fitzpatrick that a 10 year limit is a bit strict and 12 years is probably more reasonable. Any Metro cab apart from the TTT have simply had their day and people should not have to put up with these uncomfortable and polluting vehicles any longer. If and when these new regulations come in I am sure that the drivers who decide to stay in the trade will be happy to upgrade their vehicles and actually come to realize it makes economical sense! For those of you that decide not to upgrade let’s be honest that your heart probably isn’t in the trade anymore or you don’t need the money and it is time to get out anyway!

    I would also like to raise the issue about the knowledge test. Myself, like most of the Norwich cabbies, worked as a private hire driver for 2 years before I thought that I had the required level of topographical knowledge to pass the hackney carriage knowledge test. Unfortunately this is not the case for a minority of drivers who managed to cheat their way through the test! I think if our customers new about this they would be rightfully disgusted as I am! Dealing with this shocking practice is as important as regulating the vehicles and a new more comprehensive knowledge test needs to be introduced asap! If and when these new measures get introduced I am hoping that the cabbies of Norwich are pushed into having more pride in their trade and consequently themselves.

  7. Yeah i agree about with you about the government it is wrong of them to charge you more tax, but trying to get the old cabs of the road is not going to solve any of the problems. I am in the position to if I want togo and get a new cab , bu…t some drivers who are not in the position to get a cab on finance what happens to them , they either have to rent which will mean they will have to do more hours to pay the rent or find another job
    I know a driver who has just got a new tx4 after being in a metro cab for the last twenty years.when he had his metro cab he didn’t work any nights for the last twelve years of ,the twenty ,know he is working every fri night and sat night so there is one extra driver already and if the council do bring a age limit on the cabs there will be alot more drivers working to pay for there new cabs, paying rent on the cab, or in some cases sitting home with no joband struggling to put food on the table for the loved ones.
    Just the same old story when things are quiet the moaners start moaning we should all stick together not start a civil war between us hackney drivers lol
    A couple of solutions to solve this rubbish is to get something done about the one certain person who rent cabs put who give outthe cheat sheets if they rent a cab of him .
    Get something done about the number of mini buses on private hire who charge more than hackneys

  8. I think existing plate holders needn’t be so over dramatic! The suggested new rules would mean that you could spend £10,000 and get a perfecly decent cab that would last you a few years, you just won’t be able to spend £500 on a banger of a Metro and get it plated thankfully! It will only be new plateholders that would be forced to buy a new cab which hopefully would put them off getting into the trade! We have had it unrealisticaly easy in this city for too long and the public deserve better. Every existing plate holder in this city could upgrade their taxis to comply with these potential new rules, you don’t have to spend 20 grand! For drivers that don’t want to put a bit more effort and comitment into their trade then get out of it and make way for those that do!

  9. Well said Ollie, get those Metro shit heaps off the road. Its the part time drivers that actually make it hard work for those of us that take taxi driving seriously & have pride in what they do! Lets face it what sort of person can pick up customers in an old banger & have no conscious?

  10. David there are plenty of drivers out there working ” all hours ” that own or rent old cabs , if they bought a newer cab they couldn’t work anymore hours , theres only 24 in a day !

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