While we would have expected the bustling streets of London to enjoy the title of taxi capital of the UK a recent research project has crowned Rossendale as the winners of that category. Figures reveal that the Valley has more taxis per head than London, a fact that has come as a worry to many.
With the drivers of the Valley notorious for operating outside the borough, the Department of Transport revealed that there were 1,610 taxis and minicabs in Rossendale in March 2015, meaning one licenced vehicle for 42.9 people.
London are currently working with a rate of one vehicle per 100 people.
By July of t2016 r the number for Rossendale rose again to 2,523 –working out as one can for every 27 residents.
Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen said he was “shocked” by the figures progressed, feeling them to be a he concern.
“It seems that Rossendale’s taxi licensing is a magnet to all and sundry to seek a licence without working in the Valley.”
The statistical release by the DofT states:
“Rossendale Borough Council had the greatest increase in both total licensed vehicles and driver licences in England. This is likely due to the fact that although taxis can only be driven by drivers licensed by Rossendale Council, once a vehicle becomes a licensed taxi, the law allows it to accept pre-bookings in any district in England and Wales.”
Encouraging criticism from authorities in Sheffield, Bradford, Rochdale and Derby we at High Gear expect some revisions to be made. However, David Lawrie, chair of the Rossendale Taxi Association, had defended the number of taxis, feeling that we should not be comparing Rossendale to London due to the different lifestyle, with Londoners using other forms of transport also.
He said: “The infrastructure in Rossendale is very different to London. The only transport we have seven days a week, 24 hours a day is taxis.
“I take on board that the majority of those vehicles are operating outside the borough, but once the intended use policy kicks in March they will revert back to where we were 15 years ago where we saw a maximum of 300 licensed vehicles. In 12 months there will be a drop from thousands to hundreds of licenses, which is a good thing for local drivers because we get negatively criticised – even though it’s the council that messed up and issued all these licenses.
“Years ago we told them to introduce a cap and they refused. This is the result.”
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