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NEWCASTLE CITY Council has been accused of putting money before safety after approving nearly 1,000 private hire (PHV) licence applications between 2013 and 2107.

Figures released by the Department for Transport show that 939 minicab licences were granted in the city in the last four years – compared to a decline in Sunderland, North Tyneside, County Durham and Hartlepool – and cab trade bosses say the Newcastle PHV test is too easy.

A spokesman for Newcastle City Council denied the accusation and said:

In licensing vehicles and drivers, the City Council ensure appropriate regulatory control to facilitate effective enforcement of both vehicles and drivers. All applicants and existing licensees are subject to enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service checks as well as further scrutiny by Northumbria Police.

Chris Chandler, National Taxi Association director for Cumbria and the North East disagreed and said the, “Too easy cab test” was being taken advantage of by Uber drivers who worked outside of Newcastle.

Mr Chandler added: “The Newcastle cab test is too easy and the majority of these people are going to work for Uber. You can’t compete with them, they charge £3 for a £7 journey. The students love them and there is a massive amount of students in Newcastle.”

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PHC Magazine

PHC Magazine