Delta plans court action after Liverpool license blow
Merseyside private hire operator Delta Taxis has vowed to fight Liverpool council in court after the local authority last month revoked its licence to operate in the city.
The Sefton-based company was issued with a new private hire operator’s licence on November 18 to enable it to take fares in the city. But a condition of this was there had to be a dedicated telephone booking line for Liverpool, separate from the firm’s Sefton operation.
Delta’s plans are designed to take advantage of the Deregulation Bill now going through Parliament, which will allow taxi and minicab firms to subcontract business to other firms registered in other areas. This would let Delta dispatch bookings from either its Bootle or Liverpool offices to drivers and cars from both fleets.
The authority alleges the Liverpool booking number is not operational and the only way bookings can be made is through a smartphone app. The authority also claims the firm’s Liverpool registered vehicles have door signs which only refer to the app and do not advertise the Liverpool number.
Liverpool taxi firms had objected to Delta’s plans, and gained the backing of Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, who said Delta was unfairly “saturating” Liverpool and taking a living away from city-registered drivers.
Delta has 21 days to appeal to the magistrates’ court against this decision, and will be able to continue to operate in the city during this time.
In a statement, the Delta said: “Having just received a notice of revocation of private hire operator’s licence from Liverpool city council our legal team have now been instructed to appeal this decision through the appropriate judicial channels.
“Both our Sefton and Liverpool operations remain entirely lawful – something we are extremely confident of being able to establish firmly through the courts over the coming months.”
Delta is one of the largest private hire fleets in the north-west, with 2,000 drivers on its books. It operates from a bespoke, £3 million control centre in Bootle and takes around 10 million bookings a year.