Taxi Drivers in Blackburn face Licence Fee Increase

BlackburnTaxi Drivers in Blackburn are campaigning against plans to increase license fees.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has proposed to raise the fees by an average of 2.9%.

The plans will see the cost of a 1 year licence for private hire cars increase from £185.80 to £191.19, and for Hackney Carriage vehicles from £223.85 to £230.34.

Cab drivers have objected to the planned increase and have highlighted the already high cost of running the taxis e.g. private hire insurance, fuel and maintenance of the vehicles.

Chairman of the Hackney Drivers Association Ltd, Charlie Oakes, said that the trade for taxis in Blackburn with Darwen is the worst it has ever been.

Oakes said, “In today’s climate we are all having to look at where we can save money. The downward trend in work across the UK in the taxi trade and the lack of foresight in some parts of the trade over the years have left Blackburn Hackney trade at rock bottom, with work at an all time low.

“The changing face of Blackburn may well bring in welcome new business and shoppers and visitors to the town centre.

“But the taxi trade faces an unknown change itself with changes in the law.

“The trade is facing a big increase in fuel – around £1.40 per litre – and a big increase in the cost of insurance this year.

“The council has always maintained it wishes to help the trade as far as possible. Well this is one way it can help everyone in the trade and not just a few.”

The plans for increasing the licensing fees will be discussed by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Licensing Committee tonight and if they are approved, will come into force in April 2012.

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