TAXI AND MINICAB drivers claim they could be forced out of work if Leeds City Council brings in a £12.50-a-day Clean Air Zone fee for vehicles with high emissions.
Cabbies say they are already having to work three days a week before their expenses are covered and fear the new pollution charge will hit them hard.
Private hire driver Mohammed Liakat (above left) said:
It’s a lot harder than it was. Fuel costs and insurance has gone up and there are also now a lot of out-of-town drivers coming in. It’s a lot harder to make a decent wage.
Cabbies already have to pay around £500 to Leeds City Council in application and licence fees, as well as having to renew both their vehicle and driver permits at £115 each every year and say the Clean Air Zone fee, could be the final straw. Especially since the out-of-town ‘cowboys’ may not be subject to the same pollution penalty because their cars are licenced in neighbouring districts which may not have set an emissions charge.
Rafiq Mohammad (above right), a minicab driver for 40 years, said: “It is as if every scrap of tarmac in town has got something on that will make us liable for some kind of fine. We also have elderly and vulnerable customers who rely on and this sort of thing will only make our job more difficult to help them.”