Age Limits on Hackney Carriages deemed unlawful by Newport Judge.
Mr Lionel Morris V Newport City Council, another blast from the past 27/11/2009.
Neumans LLP are pleased with the judgment of Mr Justice Beatson at the High Court in Cardiff on 27 November 2009 in which he quashed the decision of Newport City Council in relation to age limits on taxis, including hackney carriages (black cabs). Neumans LLP represented Mr Lionel Morris who brought the Judicial Review on behalf of himself and all members of the Newport Hackney Drivers Association (NHDA). The NHDA is an association of around 80 hackney carriage drivers who are based in Newport, South Wales. Mr Justice Beatson held that the decision was unlawful. Amongst the reasons given were the failure to take into account the six monthly plating test. He stated that this was not a case in which it would be appropriate to deny our clients a remedy in the exercise of discretion. The decision, which was made on the 18th March 2009, meant that hackney carriages over 12 years old could not be licensed, and used as taxis. It also meant that at the first registration of a hackney carriage, it had to be under 3 years and 3 months old. The practical effects of this decision would have meant that hackney carriage drivers who fell foul of the new age restrictions would have gone out of business if they could not afford new taxis.
Newport Hackney Taxi Driver Association (NHTDA), won this judicial review with claimed costs of £550,000......"The council believes the lawyers’ actual costs as a result of the judicial review into a change in its taxi regulations should be around £100,000.
But this would have been doubled because the system allows the successful side to claim what is called an “uplift” depending on the risk that lawyers took on in fighting the case."
Newport Hackney Taxi Driver Association charge an annual membership fee of £10 with an additional monthly subscription of £5. They have about 80 members!!!
Taken from a government dept for transport website.. http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosacorp/publications.htm
• Age Limits. The setting of an age limit beyond which a local authority will not license vehicles is somewhat arbitrary and disproportionate particularly as it is perfectly possible for a well-maintained older vehicle to be in good condition. A greater frequency of testing may, however, be appropriate for older vehicles - for example, twice-yearly tests for vehicles more than five years old.
Our concerns would be that United Trade Group (LTDA, LCDC, and Unite) have already accepted an age limit on your behalf without consultation or vote. The fact is they jumped the gun an offered a 15 year age limit to the Mayor. In our opinion this could prejudiced our case.