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Brighton & Hove May Have 100 Extra Cabs On The Road | Taxi Rank

Hot! Brighton & Hove May Have 100 Extra Cabs On The Road

The Brighton & Hove Council are believed to be considering a plan to add 100 more taxis to the region. The move is primarily driven by the belief that there needs to be more cabs for the disabled. Unsurprisingly, this has infuriated local cab firms who believe it will damage the trade. Instead, they want the council to place a limit on the amount of taxis allowed in the area. At present, there is a waiting list for taxi licenses of almost 150 and the council are considering granting the applications of most people on that list.

The Fed Centre for Independent Living made recommendations to the council including one which said there should be a better ratio in terms of taxis that can accommodate the needs of disabled passengers. At present, there are almost 170 taxis in the area but only 31 are accessible to passengers with wheelchairs. If five new taxis were added a year, the proposed target of 60:40 would not be met until 2047.

There are approximately 80 authorities that limit the number of licenses in the UK and Brighton & Hove happens to be one of them. Only five new licenses are granted per annum in May and at present, the cap stands at 545. According to a report for a meeting of the licensing committee, the proposal states that taxis are often the only real source of transport for disabled people. Representatives for disabled groups in the borough have asked for a greater percentage of cabs that can cater for disabled passengers in motorised wheelchairs and can allow passengers to board the vehicle from the rear.

Yet John Streeter, speaking on behalf of Streamline Taxis, says that even 25 extra taxis would be too many. He stated that 90% of wheelchair users utilise private cabs rather than Hackney cabs at taxi ranks. Streeter also pointed out that taxis with wheelchair accessibility will not necessarily be part of any radio network that picks up phone calls from disabled passengers. He does not believe that placing more cabs at ranks will solve the problem and stands firm in his assertion that an additional 25 taxis will cripple the trade.

Mick Hildreth also spoke out on behalf of the trade and is adamant that additional taxis would only harm the borough both in terms of the economy and also environmentally. He did admit that existing cabs needed to be improved to cater for disabled passengers. A variety of options are being discussed by the council including increasing the number of licences made available each year and getting rid of the existing cap.

Source: theargus.co.uk

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