RED-TAPE cutting measures and new plates for the taxi trade will help drivers and passengers alike, Stafford Borough Council has said.
At last night’s full council meeting councillors approved changes to taxi licensing arrangements.
They mean that drivers will need to submit to a medical every three years instead of every five at present, apply for a licence renewal every three years instead of every year at present and submit newer vehicles to one MOT a year plus one spot-inspection every year, instead of twice.
A new style of taxi plate will also be introduced, which the council has said will improve safety and confidence.
Councillor Frank Finlay, Member for Environment and Health, said: “The new highly-visible plates will make it much more difficult for unlicensed vehicles to be used as cabs. The taxi trade in Stafford has a very good reputation, but we think these changes can make it even better.
“The move to a three year licence will considerably cut down on both paperwork and uncertainty for taxi drivers.
“We hope switching to a new three-year drivers licence, combined with the less onerous inspection regime for new vehicles, will give operators confidence to invest in newer and safer vehicles and improve the overall standard of taxis in the borough. It also makes it less likely that people will see taxi driving as a short-term prospect.”
The taxi trade was consulted on the changes before last night’s meeting.
Dave Kaminski, proprietor of Kaminski Taxis said: “The consultation has been fair and above board. I am satisfied that the council are covering their costs, and as a tax payer I would expect nothing less.
“We already have some of our vehicles carrying the new plates and they are a big improvement.”