Council considers test changes

MORE than 40 Calderdale taxis were immediately ordered off the road as a result of police spot checks.

Since June, the owners of another 65 vehicles were told to urgently carry out repairs to faulty lights, brakes , tyres, leaking hydraulics, bodywork and even broken drive shafts.

One in four taxis also failed to pass their MOT at the first attempt, according to figures given to the Calderdale Council Licensing Committee.

Last summer, taxi proprietors asked the committee to relax the rules governing the frequency of MOT tests from as many as three a year to just two for those vehicles between six and 10-years-old.

Councillors put off a decision pending more up to date information on past and present test results and spot checks by the police and the Vehicle Services Operators Agency.

In 2007/8, 38 per cent of taxis failed to pass their test at the first attempt but the proportion has been shrinking.

Out of a total of 1,413 tests the past year, 350 failed first time - 25 per cent.

“While this reduced failure rate is welcome, the joint working between licensing enforcement officers, the police and the operators’ agency will be reduced dramatically from April due to restructure proposals,” according to licensing manager Sarah Richardson.

“This will have a significant effect on the number of sporadic safety inspections on licensed vehicles which together with the proposed decrease in vehicle tests could impact on public safety.”

The licensing committee will consider the changes when it meets on Monday.

lHave you had any bad experiences with taxis? Or do you think red tape is forcing drivers off the road? Email: Yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk