Why 10-year-old taxis have to be top notch

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Taxis more than 10 years old need to be kept to the highest standard if drivers want to keep their licences.

The warning comes after a meeting of Calderdale Council’s licensing committee.

Members refused three applications from private-hire operators who wanted to use 10-year-old vehicles.

None of the vehicles was found to be in a suitable condition to renew the licences.

The 10-year limit was put in place to protect the public from being in cars that are not roadworthy.

Committee chairman Coun Pat Allen (Lib Dem, Elland) said if private hire vehicle proprietors wanted to continue to operate older vehicles they had to be in the very best condition.

“The whole committee wants to make it clear that the safety of the public is absolutely paramount and we expect very high standards,” she said. “These are difficult times for all businesses.

“The council recognised this when it changed its policy so that private-hire proprietors did not need to change their vehicles once the cars reached 10 years old.

“But our main priority is the safety and the comfort of the public and we will only allow proprietors to extend their licences beyond the vehicle’s 10th anniversary if they are in the very best condition.”

Before 2008, private hire operators were not allowed licences for cars more than 10 years old.

However, this policy was amended to allow vehicles past their 10th anniversary to continue working if they were well maintained and in top condition.

Since this change in policy a number of extensions to licences have been issued where the vehicles met the exacting standards of the committee.

However, cars are still being brought before the committee that are not up to scratch and are promptly refused.