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Private hire and taxi Insurance Specialists


01704 270 061


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LEEDS TRADE PROTESTS AGAINST NEW LICENSING POLICY


Tempers flared and people gathered, as hundreds of Leeds taxi and private hire licence holders, drivers, and PH oper- ators staged a three-hour demon- stration on Wednes- day, 15 January out- side the Civic Hall to coincide with a licensing committee meeting inside. The trade was pro- testing over plans to revoke their licences if they get more than six DVLA penalty points in a year. The policy comes into force on the 2nd Feb- ruary and will result in a ban from reap- plying for the licence for three years. The council said the move would “im- prove passenger safe- ty”; however drivers


say the policy is “too draconian” and “dis- proportionate”. The drivers demanded a “proper working party”with the coun- cil, including PH and HC representatives. PHTM spoke with the chair of the Leeds Private Hire Drivers Organisation, Ahmad Hussain, who told us that there were between 900 and 1,500 drivers taking part in the demonstration over the three-hour peri- od. They


handed


over a 2,500-signa- ture petition oppos- ing the policy to Deputy Leader Cllr James Lewis. Mr Hussain said: “The council doesn’t realise how easy it will be to lose your livelihood under this


new policy. They are bringing in more strict rules than the DVLA itself; the cur- rent policy in Leeds was that HC/PHV licences were sus- pended or revoked if drivers exceeded 12 points, which was the same as the DVLA. Now they have halved that. It is not fair.” An emergency meet- ing was held bet- ween the trade and the council on Tues- day, 21 January, at which “the council heard our concerns, but nothing positive came out of it”, according to Mr Hus- sain. At that meet- ing, some 12 witness- es heard the Head of Licensing, Andrew White, declare – when trade spokes-


men said Leeds council policy was overruling national law – that “this coun- cil is above the law”. A further planned demo/go-slow which had been scheduled to take place over January 23-25 was postponed, pending another meeting bet- ween the trade and the council on Tues- day, 28 January. Mr Hussain stressed that “all drivers must be there; this is our last chance to show opposition.”


As the additional meeting will have taken place just after our press deadline, we’ll be reporting the outcome in March. Meanwhile, have a look at the full “points protest” fea- ture inside this issue.


TAXI FLEET SPECIALISTS www.milestonehouse.com


0113 259 3697


FLEET & BUSINESS INSURANCE ADVISORS


Taxi specialists All areas Any drivers Exclusive facilities Flexible payments Replacement vehicle cover (non-fault)


01706 658 587


SERVICES


Feb2020


Issue329


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