Almost 40 more Glasgow private hire car bids refused due to limit

Another 37 people have been refused permission to run their own private hire cars in Glasgow as the city has reached its limit.

The city’s licensing committee turned down 38 applications for private hire car licences last week due to its over-provision policy — and more drivers lost out yesterday (Thursday).

The policy means only 3,450 cars can operate in Glasgow at one time. Applicants wanted to run their own vehicle, rather than hire one from a company, with many claiming the cost of renting a car is too high.

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However, some admitted to not using their private hire driver’s licence during the last three months. Rules state any licence not used within three months should be surrendered.

An application for a three-year private hire car licence costs £483 regardless of whether the bid is successful. Applicants have been told this is to cover the council’s administration costs.

Last week, Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the licensing committee, said a review had deemed 3,450 cars is a “fair number”.

The figure was set in April last year following the review, but another review is expected to take place next year.

Over 250 more private hire car licences were made available at that time to address demand at busy times, particularly weekend evenings. Those licences have now been taken and the council has reached its over-provision limit again.

The review, commissioned by the council, found there was “unmet demand” for taxis and some evidence of “potential under-provision of private hire cars”, particularly at peak times.

It was reported the “primary issue is a lack of drivers rather than a lack of vehicles”, but extra licences could “assist in increasing the number of drivers entering the trade”.

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