Taxi drivers start legal action over council’s clampdown on emissions

Taxi drivers in Wakefield say their livelihoods could be at stake because of new stringent emission standards.
Taxi drivers in Wakefield say their livelihoods could be at stake because of new stringent emission standards.

Taxi drivers in the district have launched legal action against Wakefield Council following the authority’s decision to hike up licensing fees and introduce tough emission rules.

The cost for drivers’ licensing badge has risen by 60 per cent to £384, while any cab manufactured before September 2016 will not be licensed because it would exceed pollution levels set by the council.

This means almost 90 per cent of taxis would be taken off the road, with many drivers saying they cannot afford newer models.

Wakefield District Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Association, which represents drivers, criticised the move, saying the council should introduce lower emission levels gradually or risk losing hundreds of drivers.

Planned industrial action, which included go-slows through the city to prevent traffic from running freely, have since been postponed, but legal action has started.

Waj Ali, co-chairman of the association (pictured centre) said: “We have issued initial proceedings against the council. It’s cost us a lot of money, more than £10,000 so far and could cost us £60,000.

“It’s very, very serious but we are not prepared to back down on this. We’re not going to be pushed around by bully boy tactics.”

The council has until March 12 to respond to the legal proceedings.

Bernadette Livesey, Wakefield Council’s city Solicitor, said: “The taxi association has written a letter before action and the council is currently considering its position. The council is pleased that planned action has been postponed.”