Bury taxis are given smaller number plates after drivers complain that front plates have contributed to targeted attacks on them.
Bury Council is expected to meet taxi drivers’ requests as a panel of councilors voted to change local government license plate regulations.
The regulations for tinted windows will also change so that taxi drivers can keep the windows already installed by the manufacturers instead of paying for new ones if they do not meet the Council’s own standards.
The size of the front license plates will be reduced from April until ratification at a full council meeting next week.
This happened after the drivers told city councils about attackers targeting taxis and in a case where Job’s stones were thrown through a window and narrowly missed a man’s head.
Despite the changes, sales representatives argued that the overall front panel requirement should be removed.
Taxi drivers at the Bury Council meeting on September 11, 2019
Charles Oakes, chairman of the Hackney Drivers Association, said: “I speak as someone with 38 years of experience. You don’t need front panels. What use are they?”
Registration Office manager Michael Bridge told taxi drivers at a meeting last week that Oldham Council recently reintroduced the requirement for two license plates for vehicles.
The Bury Private Hire Driver Association secretary, Muhammad Sajjad, asked the license and security panel to temporarily remove the license plate requirement.
He said, “See if crime is reduced. If there are no changes, put two or three on the front. “
At a meeting in November, city councils considered removing the requirement for the front license plates.
Cllr Steve Wright, however, suggested scaling down the front panel instead.
He expressed concern that the rules would change again if common minimum standards for taxi license issuance were agreed in Greater Manchester in the near future.
Prestwich City Council, who works for a brake company in Rochdale, said the problem with the front license plate hadn’t arisen when he spoke to taxi drivers.
A slim majority of city councilors voted to change the size of the front panel, but three were against the change, including Cllr Charlotte Morris, who called the move “premature”.
Charles Oakes, chairman of the Hackney Drivers Association, and Mohammad Sajad, secretary of the Bury Private Hire Drivers Association, on the admissions and security panel
She said, “I’m not sure if a smaller plate fixes the issues I raised. I agree with the concerns raised, but that seems to be half the story.”
The panel voted against a proposal to change the size of the identification card that taxi drivers must wear.
However, the councilors supported changing the tinting window rules by six to one.
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Licensing manager Tahir Rafiq explained why.
He said: “The current policy does not seem to be fair. I think an amendment that allows this seems fairer.”
The front panels will be changed free of charge if the driver renews his license after April.
Taxi drivers can pay to have a smaller front license plate if they wish to do so before renewal.