A court has ruled that Wakefield council were overcharging local taxi drivers for a licence to trade in what could prove to be a landmark case.
The High Court ruled last December that the council’s £384 fee it charges taxi drivers for a licence to trade was unlawful.
The local authority argued that the fee was needed for recovering the costs of licensing the vehicles, as well as policing the local industry.
Taxi drivers have insisted the fees should only pay for licensing.
Wakefield council appealed the High Court’s decision arguing that it was ‘unclear’. They lost the appeal and are therefore required to compensate taxi drivers.
‘The legal position as to where enforcement costs could be attributed was unclear and today’s judgement has clarified that the costs of enforcement should be met by the taxi trade through fees and should not be subsidised by the council tax payer,’ said Glynn Humphries, service director for environment and streetscene.
‘We very much welcome the clarity from today’s judgement but are disappointed we didn’t get this in the High Court last year, which would have saved everyone involved time and money.’
‘The council will now review our position in light of the judgement and set up a process to enable drivers to log any claims as easily as possible and try and ensure we assess the claims as quickly as we can,’ Cllr Humphries added.