Councillors are to have another look at a temporary ban for taxi drivers who have racked up nine penalty points.

Following a plea by Ismail Brhana from the Kirklees Taxi Association, Kirklees Cabinet asked for the Licensing and Safety Committee to reconsider the issue in light of complaints about the public consultation.

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

 

Last month a committee of councillors backed tough new rules relating 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 Driving Standards Agency test which could mean delays and time out of work for taxi drivers.

Mr Brhana 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.

“We believe it is too harsh and instead more training should take place for safer driving. We believe we have to help promote safer driving which will bring advantages to the trade and public.”

He asked cabinet to do more consultation on the issue; allow all taxi drivers to be able to use bus lanes; and renew licences every three years instead of every year, even at a higher price.

Council leader Clr David Sheard said he would ask Clr Mumtaz Hussain, chair of the Licensing and Safety Committee, to take the issue back.

Clr Hussain, who voted against the policy originally, said he would.

Clr Sheard concluded: “I’m not saying that the committee will agree to what you’re asking for, but they will look at it. The decision will be for the committee, but the consultation issue is one they need to look at.”

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

Kirklees does not have a summary of how many taxi drivers have points on their licence.

A Freedom of Information request shows that the council would need to look at the file of 4,855 people who hold, or have held, a licence to know the extend of the issue.