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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Firm wants to bring London cabs to Maryport

A private hire taxi firm from Maryport has moved closer to bringing the first London-style taxi cabs to West Cumbria.

Father and son William Patterson Senior and Junior, who run Rosie’s Travel, want to introduce the wheelchair-accessible cabs.

Allerdale council’s licensing panel this week agreed to change its age policy on taxis to enable older London cabs to be bought.

The current policy says all vehicles must be licensed before four years of age, but councillors voted to extend this to 10 years for London taxis.

Mr Patterson Sr said that London taxis were known to have a long life span and were very expensive at four years old.

He wrote to the council to ask them to extend the age policy for London taxis.

Mr Patterson Snr said: “We wanted to buy a purpose-built London taxi which was more than four years old but looked as good as new.

“Because council rules would not allow it we had to buy an almost new car and convert it into a taxi.

“This cost us approximately £8,000 more than it would have cost to buy the London taxi which had a higher health and safety standard and looked better.”

Gillian Collinson, senior licensing officer, told the panel that concern had been raised by some proprietors who wanted to buy wheelchair-accessible vehicles but found them too expensive.

She said: “The long-term risk is there is that there are insufficient numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles available.”

Councillor Jacqueline Mounsey said: “It is a great idea to provide a service for people in wheelchairs and we should support it.”

London taxis would come under the same regulations on full service history, and vehicles over five years would be tested twice yearly.

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