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Proposed Age Limit On Cardiff Cabs Has Been Thrown Out

It seems as if cab drivers in the UK have little to cheer about these days so minor victories, such as the one enjoyed by the taxi drivers of Cardiff, are cause for celebration. Originally the Cardiff City Council proposed a max age limit for multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) and saloons that could be used as taxis. However, this proposal has been thrown out.

They had originally recommended that saloons, black and white cabs and MPVs over 10 years old should no longer be licensed in Cardiff. Yet councillors on the local committee decided to shelve this idea on the grounds that maintenance of the vehicles was more important than age alone. Instead, the existing licensing vehicle age restriction has been removed and cabs can now be on the road for a maximum of 12 years, an increase of 2 years.

There used to be a prestige vehicle classification which enabled cabbies to extend the life of the taxi but it has been removed because the changes mean this classification is unnecessary. All but 4% of the taxi fleet in Cardiff could either have been considered black and white cabs or prestige vehicles before the changes. However, all cabs will be tested after 5 years and there will be two tests a year thereafter. According to Councillor Gretta Marshall, age is completely irrelevant because the quality of the vehicle is all-important.

Councillor Lyn Hudson said that older cars are sometimes better maintained and more suitable than younger cars. Hudson also believes that due to the lamentable financial climate, maintenance is far more important than the age of the car. Yet Councillor Joe Boyle complained about the decision because now that there is no prestige distinction, the market will become flooded with cheaper vehicles.

According to those representing the private hire and Hackney carriage trades, imposing age limits would mean that certain cabbies would be out of a job. It is believed that officials need to be stricter when it comes to inspecting vehicles as this will ensure that unsafe taxis are taken off the roads. Mathab Khan of the local Hackney Drivers Association is happy that the prestige status is gone because it was unnecessary since most cabs built today are of high quality. He is not happy at the increased testing frequency which will cost cab drivers more than £110 a year.

Source: yourcardiff.walesonline.co.uk