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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Policy change means black cabs welcome on Allerdale's roads

A private hire taxi firm from Maryport has moved a step closer to bringing London-style taxi cabs to west Cumbria after Allerdale council’s licensing panel voted to change their policy.

Father and son William Patterson Senior and Junior, who run Rosie’s Travel, want to bring the wheelchair-accessible cabs to the area but found under current licensing policies it was too expensive.

The current age policy is that all vehicles must be licensed before four years of age but councillors voted at the meeting to extend this to 10 years for London taxis.

Mr Patterson Sr said London taxis are known to have a very long life span and therefore are still very expensive at four years old.

He wrote to the council to ask them to extend the age policy for London taxis.

Mr Patterson Snr said: “Recently due to a bereavement we had to restructure our business, we effectively started again.

“We wanted to buy a purpose built London taxi which was more than four years old but looked as good as new.

“Because council rules would not allow it we had to buy an almost new car and convert it into a taxi.

“This cost us approximately £8,000 more than it would have cost to buy the London taxi which had a higher health and safety standard and looked better.”

Gillian Collinson, senior licensing officer, told the panel that concerns had been raise from a number of proprietors who wanted to purchase these wheel chair accessible vehicles but found them too expensive.

She said: “The long term risk is there is insufficient numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles available for the travelling public.”

Councillor Jacqueline Mounsey said: “I think it is a great idea they want to provide a service for people in wheel chairs and I think we should support it.”

London taxis would come under the same regulations as other taxis in regard to providing a full service history and vehicles over five years of age would be tested twice yearly.

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