Northampton Borough Council consider survey of taxi numbers

Published: Wednesday, 12 October 2016

An independent survey of the number of licensed taxis in Northampton could take place next year.

The findings will be used to steer Northampton Borough Council’s decision on whether to consider a review of how many taxi licences it grants. The move comes after requests from the Northampton Hackney Carriage Association to introduce an annual cap on the number of licenses issued by the Borough Council.

Unmet need surveys are intended to highlight the impact that potential licensing restrictions could have on market competition and the price of fares, as well as indicate whether there are currently a sufficient number of licensed vehicles in a town. The Department for Transport stipulates that a study of this nature must be undertaken by an independent body, so a specialist consultant would be required to undertake the survey.

Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for community safety, said: “An unmet need survey will establish whether there are enough taxis and private hire vehicles available to meet demand in Northampton. We do not currently restrict the number of licenses we are able to grant, although everyone who submits an application is expected to demonstrate incredibly high safety standards.

“Northampton has a strong night time economy and as a town we’re continuing to grow, so it’s important that we have a good range of reliable transport options available. I respect the views of our local businesses, which is why the survey has been recommended but only once we have the findings will we be in a position to assess whether introducing a cap for the number of licensed taxi vehicles would be appropriate. Should the survey go ahead, I expect findings to be presented next summer.” The licensing committee will consider the recommendation to commission the survey on Tuesday, 18 October.