Minister’s recognition of concerns ‘welcome’

Eamonn O'Donnell of North West Taxi Proprietors Ltd.  (1702JB17)

Eamonn O'Donnell of North West Taxi Proprietors Ltd. (1702JB17)

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Local taxi drivers have been urged to get their appointments for the testing of new tariff meter installations booked over the next week to avoid potential penalties.

North West Taxi Proprietors have issued a call out ahead of legislation on metering and othertaxi regulations being enforced from next Saturday.

The local organisation has also welcomed Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard’s recognition of concerns within the taxi industry around the deadline for implementation of the meters and new tariffs.

Eamonn O’Donnell, project manager, in a statement issued on behalf of the North West Taxi Proprietors Ltd (NWTP) said:“There have been issues for the taxi industry with the installation of so many taxi meters and the related processes.

“Many taxi drivers and companies have expressed concerns to NWTP at the approaching date from Derry, Belfast, Omagh and other areas. We welcome the ‘light touch approach’ instructions from the minister to DVA enforcement,” said the statement.

NWTP has encouraged local taxi drivers to ensure that they book appointments before October 1st, especially those PSV’d since May 31, 2016.

“Drivers should also be aware that cancellation of test dates by the applicant will void their protection from enforcement action,” the group warned.

“We encourage all taxi drivers presenting their vehicles for road test (PSV) after October 1st to have a taxi meter and printer installed with an approved tariff. These drivers should get their application for meter sealing in as soon as possible. Taxi Licenses (Vehicle test) cannot be appointed until a meter test has been successfully completed.”

The new meters and printers became compulsory for all Class A and Class B taxis from May 31, 2016, but the full enforcement of the new law has been put back until October 1st.

The Driver Vehicle Agency will carry out the testing and sealing of printers and meters, and taxi drivers have been warned they will have to be prepared to travel to a test centre with capacity to carry out the test.

The government has warned that any taxi drivers who cannot provide evidence of having booked for their test before October 1st will be at risk of enforcement action, including a £120 Fixed Penalty Notice.