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Taxis (Northamptonshire)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

The Humble Petition of Hackney Carriage drivers and associates of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and surrounding areas,

Sheweth, that too many Hackney Carriage licence plates are being issued in the Borough of Wellingborough and that this is causing there to be a surplus of taxis which is stopping drivers making a livelihood and threatening the level of service provided to the public.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to direct the Borough Council of Wellingborough to temporarily suspend the issue of any more Hackney Carriage licence plates until they have carried out a demand survey; and that the suspension be kept until a clear public demand for more taxis has been established.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr. Peter Bone, Official Report, 13 July 2009; Vol. 496, c. 129 .]

[P000391]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport, received 11 August 2009:

Responsibility for the issuing of Hackney carriage licences rests with the local authority and it is for them to consider if numbers should be limited, according to the conditions that prevail in the licensing area. Limiting the numbers of taxis is unlikely to be in the best interests of consumers.

Section 16 of the Transport Act 1985, provides that the grant of a taxi licence may be refused if the licensing authority is satisfied that there is no significant demand for the services of Hackney carriages which is unmet. This issue is usually decided by means of a survey.

However, most licensing authorities do not control the quantity of Hackney carriage licences issued. The Department for Transport considers this best practice, and publishes guidance to local authorities to this effect.