Almost 40 people refused Glasgow private hire car licences as city 'at limit'

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Almost 40 people have been refused private hire car licences in Glasgow as the city has reached its limit.

Glasgow’s licensing committee turned down 38 applications due its overprovision policy, which means only 3,450 cars can operate at one time.

Many of the applicants already had private hire driver licences — although some admitted to not using them within three months, which is against the terms.

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Several people who currently lease vehicles said they wanted their own car licences as the cost of renting from private firms is too high.

Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the licensing committee, told applicants: “The reason you have been cited today is relevant to your private hire car application. We are currently sitting at 3450 private hire cars out on the street just now, that means we’ve reached our limit.”

He asked them whether they had any reason why they should be exempt from the policy, but said personal circumstances “doesn’t come into this at all”.

An application for a three-year private hire car licence costs £483 regardless of whether the bid is successful. Cllr Wilson said this is due to administration costs.

He added allowing additional cars “goes against the policy” and a review had “deemed that to be a fair number of cars”.

Some applicants argued more cars are needed as there is a shortage on Friday and Saturday evenings. Cllr Wilson said this was due to current drivers choosing not to work at these times.

The policy is set to be reviewed next year. The current figure was set in April last year following a review.

Over 250 more private hire car licences were made available at that time to address demand at busy times, including weekend evenings. However, those licences have now been taken.

The review, commissioned by the council, found there was “unmet demand” for taxis and some evidence of “potential underprovision 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 the change could “assist in increasing the number of drivers entering the trade”.

A further 13 applications were withdrawn from the agenda before the meeting began.

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