Licence holiday for Richmondshire taxi drivers

Star Cars taxi driver Dan Coultish arrives to collect a food bank delivery during the first lockdown.

Richmondshire’s taxi trade is to get a four month licence ‘holiday’ this spring to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

The district council says it will not charge for their vehicle licences from April to August.

This will save drivers up to £114 on their annual fee.

After that all fees and charges for hackney and private hire services have been frozen for the coming 12 months – fees will remain at their 2020 level.

Councillors agreed the help last November after hearing that drivers had suffered a huge loss in trade throughout the pandemic.

“This is the first time we have been able to offer the payment holiday. Each driver will not need to pay for the first four months of their 2021/22 licence,” said chairman of the licensing committee, Councillor Clive World.

“The taxi trade was one of the hardest hit during the first lockdown with most drivers off the road for months earning no income.

“We hope this free four months will go some way towards helping them.”

The 117 Richmondshire licensed vehicles will be covered by a short term licence from April through to the end of July.

They will then renew as normal to receive an annual licence from August, moving the future annual re-licensing date into the busier holiday period where it is hoped finding fees will be easier.

The annual renewal fee is £343 for a hackney licence and £225 for a private hire vehicle licence.