Mansfield taxi driver's anger over new £274 fee

A group of taxi representatives have slammed Mansfield District Council, after licensing bosses introduced a £274 fee.

Hackney carriage drivers must now pay the fee to the council when they transfer a vehicle's ownership.

Hackney carriage drivers Chris Riley and Jamie Germain say the new fee cannot be justified.

Hackney carriage drivers Chris Riley and Jamie Germain say the new fee cannot be justified.

Jamie Germain and Chris Riley, representatives of the hackney carriage trade in Mansfield only discovered the fee when Mr Germain sold a vehicle to a fellow driver.

Mr Riley said: "Jamie had a driver working for him who wanted to transform himself from a rental driver to an owner driver, which means owning your own vehicle and becoming self-employed.

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"Jamie agreed to sell the vehicle to this driver, and they discovered this transfer fee during the sale.

"We had a meeting with the licensing department two weeks before, and we were only told about an increase to our fees in line with inflation - not about this transfer fee.

"This fee is stopping drivers progressing, because it's another barrier.

"I don't know how it can be justified, it will prevent other drivers becoming self-employed - it is almost four days wages."

"We were trying to come together as a community to help a fellow driver."

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Mr Germain and Mr Riley said the fee is another expense piled upon drivers who are trying to make a living in an increasingly difficult trade.

As well as the introduction of the transfer fee, the amount drivers must pay for their licence fee has also increased by two percent this year.

"We are being hammered by the council" added Mr Riley.

"We are furious that our fees have risen and nothing is being done about private hire vehicles blocking off Leeming Street on weekends, prevent us from getting through. We are losing trade."

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"How can a fee rise be justified when Quaker Way taxi rank has not been painted for 10 years?"

Julia Beresford, environmental health manager at Mansfield District Council, said: “The hackney carriage fees have risen – but only in line with inflation. The council did not previously charge for transferring ownership and was therefore not covering the cost of administering the transfer, and this is the reason the fee has been introduced.

“We are aware of issues on Leeming Street. Drivers need to report any issues directly to Nottinghamshire County Council as traffic enforcement is their responsibility.

“Regarding the comments about the upkeep of ranks and signs, three of the four ranks have been painted in the past month and the fourth is due to be painted imminently. There have also been signage repairs within the past month.”