WIRRAL taxi drivers have welcomed a new curb on the number of black cab licences handed out in the borough.
Councillors agreed on Monday to limit the number of licences to 289 – currently there are 286 licences “attached to a vehicle” – meaning they are in use by hackney cabs.
Drivers had urged members of the licensing, health and safety and general purposes committee to set the limit, arguing it would safeguard their livelihoods and stabilise the trade in challenging economic times.
Derek Cummins of the Unite union said many newcomers had signed up to £30,000 finance deals for their vehicle then found it impossible to make a living in a saturated market.
The decision follows the results of independent report commissioned by the council, which concluded there were enough hackneys to meet demand.
Councillors were shown figures comparing the plate numbers issued by the council with the number actually attached to vehicles.
On January 18 the highest plate number issued was 400 but just 286 are currently in use, meaning 114 are no longer on the road.
Bob Kelly of the Independent Wirral Hackney Drivers Association said: “We're pleased with the decision. The trade does need a period of stability and long-term managed growth.”