Study into increasing taxi numbers in Halifax town centre to cost £15,000

A survey commissioned by Calderdale Council to examine demand for taxis in Halifax will be held before a decision is taken on whether or not to remove a limit on numbers.

The council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee decided on the move after debating the issue.

Halifax town centre taxi rank

Halifax town centre taxi rank

The law allows the number of hackney carriages – taxis, which are licensed to ply for hire, as opposed to private hire vehicles – to be capped if councillors are sure there is no significant unmet demand.

At the moment numbers are limited to 37 hackney carriages in the Halifax zone.

The rest of Calderdale is also covered by zones but these do not have limited numbers, with Sowerby Bridge having 45, Brighouse 11, Elland six, Todmorden four, and Hebden Bridge one.

National guidance says policy should be reviewed and justified publicly at least every three years – in Calderdale this was last done in summer 2017.

A survey will cost around £15,000.

In effect, councillors heard, removing the Halifax limit would mean hackney cabs licensed by the local authority all having a Calderdale plate and being able to ply for hire at any of the ranks in Calderdale.

Coun Geraldine Carter (Con, Ryburn) was concerned hackney cabs from outside the borough would be able to do this but officers said the change would not mean those from Bradford, Leeds or Kirklees could come in and work the streets of Calderdale.

Councillors’ benchmark, under national guidelines, had to be whether or not the travelling public would benefit from the result.

Input from hackney carriage owners given at the meeting indicated they supported a survey which would likely favour the status quo, which would keep up standards for the travelling public.

Otherwise it would become a system whereby those in all the outside areas would come down into the centre to work.

This would make it very difficult to keep up standards and putting pressure on limited taxi rank spaces.

They would advise keeping the system as it was working very well, they told councillors.