Hereford taxi drivers protest against tighter proposed licensing rules

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Taxi drivers in Hereford have staged a protest at council offices to raise concerns about proposed new, tighter licensing rules.

More than 50 Hereford taxi drivers attended a rally at a council meeting to show their anger at the plans, which include a knowledge-style test of the county’s routes, to tight age limits on vehicles.

Drivers claim the plans will drive up to 80% of them out of the trade, drastically limiting the availability of cabs at a time when there are already national shortages.

The drivers claim Hereford Council’s consultation process did not take on board their concerns, and they are now demanding a new consultation on their terms.

Hereford Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Association chairman John Jones (pictured) said: “We want a meeting between the association and licensing officers, but we need councillors to sit in so they can hear the sense that’s being talked.”

The drivers also handed in a petition to Cllr Ange Tyler, cabinet member for regulatory services, before 50 taxi drivers sat in on the start of the council meeting.

Cllr Tyler told the meeting: “We are going through the results of the consultation, and I am listening to all the concerns being made by the taxi trade. This is a serious matter – we already have less taxi drivers due to Covid.”

A final policy recommendation on the changes will be put to full council in May, she said. “I will do my utmost to ensure this policy is fit for purpose. The ultimate aim of this is to keep everyone safe when going from A to B.”