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.