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LICENSING STANDARDS: HAVE YOUR SAY!


others work nights; therefore around half can be on shift at any one time.


“This raises the question whether the substantial added costs to change vehicles – which can be three times more expensive than a current diesel or petrol model – make any difference to air quality.


other businesses; we wish that he should work in a similar way for the taxi trades.


“Clean air has improved significantly throughout the region; we will respond but my feeling is that this is another waste of time exercise without any conclusions.”


Sham Raja, NPHTA Board member, private hire representative: “As far as I can see, they’ve (GM) already made their minds up; this whole programme is a political move for the mayor Andy Burnham. It is totally unaffordable by the trade. The figures they published are wrong as well; they said that 32 million journeys are made by the licensed taxis and PHVs in Greater Manchester every year. It should be three to four times that many. So what other statistics have they got wrong?


“Also, I believe that the consultation documents should have been sent to every household in the region… they don’t appreci- ate that there are still people who do not have internet access or are not computer literate.


“They tried to bring in a congestion charge ten years ago, and it was blocked. Manchester is not London, yet they’re bringing in a similar licensing structure so that all ten GM boroughs are governed by one regime. And all white private hires? It won’t work here. Who will benefit? Uber!”


Jon Vickerstaff, chair, Tameside Taxi Association: “Now is not an ideal time to be having such important consultations sur- rounding the future of our trade in Greater Manchester… However, the authorities have decided that the consultations should go ahead as planned, and so we encourage all members of our trade to engage in the consultations and use this oppor- tunity to have their say.


“It’s good to see questions in the consultations relating to Covid and the effect it is having on the trade; personally I urge drivers to particularly answer these questions in great detail to give a true reflection on the dire state Covid has left us in.”


Chris Hargreaves, NPHTA Board member, Prestige Chauffeurs Ltd.: “It’s illogical to believe that by making some 20,000 taxis and private hire vehicles go to electric, these vehicles will have any impact on air pollution in Greater Manchester. They represent something less than three per cent of the approximately 600,000 total vehicles using GM roads. Plus the fact that some work days,


NOVEMBER 2020


“And what about the significant number of vehicles using GM roads that will be exempt from the emissions charge, but are still being used for commercial purposes? I’m referring to those peo- ple who use their personal motor for the likes of Hermes, Uber Eats, Just Eat, Amazon Flex or other delivery services. Why should these vehicles be exempt from the CAZ even though they are working in the gig economy? This will give them a massive advantage over the taxi and PH trade, even though we are all doing the same thing: delivering people or goods from A to B.


“For those in the chauffeur industry vehicle costs would rise sig- nificantly, with current maximum mileages from electric vehicles limiting work prospects.


“Finally, only a small number of roads were supposed to have been measured above the legal air quality limit. I believe the fig- ure was 152 roads, out of a total possible 2,000+ roads in the region not counting the motorways - which again raises the question in rush hour how little difference targeting the taxi and private hire trade will have.”


Mark Kennedy, chair, Stockport Owner Drivers Association: “Because the current situation is so fluid and changing on a weekly basis, it is almost impossible for individual sole traders to have any certainly about their future earning potential…With all this in mind it is difficult to see any good reasons to heap more pressure onto our trade with CAZ and MLS. [The CAZ] across the whole of GM an area of 500 square miles, cannot be justified at this time because pollution is within the pre-Covid legal limits.


“…Both of these proposals are going to put unrealistic pressure upon the hackney and PH trades in GM. TfGM are hoping that they will be able to secure government grants and loans to help drivers upgrade vehicles. But these loans go nowhere near help- ing with the enormous costs involved in all taxi/PHV drivers being pushed towards a full electric fleet by 2029.


“There is no guarantee of money; there is also a lack of vehicles to be purchased, and there is not the business at this time to enable proprietors to pay back loans in excess of £50,000 on electric hackney cabs.


“I would encourage the entire GM trade to fill in both consulta- tions… We need a high volume response from the trade, so please take the time and make the effort to fill in and voice your concerns… and because we have no indication as to how long we may remain in this pandemic, surely the way forward would be to try to support the trade and drivers’ jobs; shelve these pro- posals until we come out the other side and can evaluate what kind of a trade we have left – if any.”


Many thanks to all our contributors for their comments. Feelings are running high, so it’s best that you take their advice and have your say: respond to both consultations by 3 December.


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