Call to increase cab licence availability in Portsmouth

FARE A woman is calling for Portsmouth City Council to lift its restriction on cab licences
FARE A woman is calling for Portsmouth City Council to lift its restriction on cab licences
Picture: Carey Tompsett/PA Wire

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A TAXI driver wants Portsmouth City Council to lift the restriction on the number of cab licences, claiming one costs her £1,000 a month.

Yvonne Rogers, 63, of Portsmouth, said the limit means they can change hands privately for £35,000.

She said the cost has meant she works 80 to 90 hour weeks and has previously worked 17 days straight.

She said: ‘The reason I have to work these ridiculous hours compromising my health is because I have to pay £1,000 a month to rent my cab.

‘If I had a plate of my own I would be at least £600 a month better off.

‘They allocate so many, they say they won’t allocate anymore above that.

‘I can’t get one unless I can get £35,000 together to buy one from someone who’s already got one.

‘I feel very angry about this, I feel the plates belong to the public and the council are merely guardians of the plates.

‘I can’t understand how councils around the country allow this to go on, it makes my blood boil.’

There are currently 234 hackney cab licenses in the city.

Portsmouth City Council reviewed the restriction on hackney cab licenses in 2006.

It concluded there was not an unmet demand for cabs.

And the Law Commission is looking into the taxi and private hire business.

Despite initially suggesting it would recommend deregulation, it has since recommended a restriction stays in place.

In a statement, the Law Commission earlier this year it said: ‘The benefits of change are outweighed by the advantages of continuing to allow restrictions.

‘Restrictions can have a place in combating congestion and over-ranking, and supporting a viable taxi trade to maintain high standards.

‘On the other, there is no compelling evidence that de-restriction reduces fares or has a significant effect on waiting times.’