Rethink on taxi policy after demonstration

TAXI RANK The Hackney Carriage rank at the back of Dewsbury Bus Station.
TAXI RANK The Hackney Carriage rank at the back of Dewsbury Bus Station.

Kirklees Council may back down on introducing temporary bans for taxi drivers who have racked up nine penalty points.

A rally took place before a Full Council meeting on Wednesday where taxi drivers made a deputation and handed a petition in signed by more than 1,000 people.

GOOD WORK Farhanah Dawjee at the exhibition. (D542P443)

GOOD WORK Farhanah Dawjee at the exhibition. (D542P443)

Kirklees Cabinet asked for the Licensing and Safety Committee to reconsider the issue in light of complaints about the public consultation.

Last month a committee of councillors backed tough new rules regarding what convictions will restrict a bid to become a taxi driver. They agreed to suspend the licence of any taxi driver with nine points on their licence until a further test – which could mean delays and time out of work.

Ismail Brhana, from the Kirklees Taxi Association, said: “Both Hackney and private hire drivers are very unhappy about the penalty point system. It will impact in our livelihood and further burden the benefits system even more.”

Council leader David Sheard told them: “I’m not saying that the committee will agree to what you’re asking for, but they will look at it.”

The policy will remain in place until the committee makes a ruling otherwise.

Under the new rules, applications for licences will be refused if a driver has been convicted of rape; sexual offences involving young/vulnerable people; trafficking for sexual exploitation or possession of indecent images of children.

If someone has a conviction for sexual assault, indecent assault or exploitation for prostitution, an applicant should be free of conviction for at least 10 years or three years after sentence has ended, whichever is longer.

No-one on the sex offenders register will be granted a licence.