>> 10 April 2011

A local councillor has condemned as “ludicrous” draft proposals from Aberdeenshire Council to introduce an age limit of 5 years on vehicles used as taxis at the time of the renewal of their licence.

Banff & District SNP councillor Ian Gray says the move is unnecessary and will cause financial problems for local businesses, putting jobs at risk.

Commenting, Councillor Gray said:

“This is a totally unnecessary proposal. Given the reliability of vehicles these days, it is completely ludicrous to even consider forcing taxi operators to stop using vehicles which are over 5 years old.

“Taxis are subject to tests to ensure their safety and roadworthiness to carry fare-paying members of the public. As long as these tests are being carried out to a high standard and the public has confidence in the system, there should be no need to introduce an arbitrary age limit on taxis.

“The environmental and economic consequences of doing so are simply horrendous. I am also extremely disappointed that I had to find out about this from constituents of mine. There has been no consultation with local elected councillors on this matter. If there had been, I would have made my views very clear on the subject.”

SNP candidate for Banffshire & Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson added:

“At a time when taxi businesses are under pressure from high fuel costs, this is the last thing that they need.

“While public safety must always be paramount, I don’t believe that introducing an arbitrary age limit on taxis is the solution. If the vehicle inspection system cannot cope with the number of tests being asked of it, the answer is to upgrade the vehicle inspection system, not to pass new burdens onto taxi operators.”

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