Furious taxi bosses have claimed a council safety drive banning older cabs from the borough’s roads will cost them thousands of pounds.
Hyndburn council chiefs are planning to cut the maximum age limit of private hire cabs in the borough from 10 years to seven.
Andy Baxter, of Max Cabs, said the crackdown is “ridiculous” and will hit the firm in the pocket.
He told the Observer: “We have 35 taxis that are more than seven years old and if we have to replace each one of them it’s going to be a huge cost to us and will increase our insurance on top of that. We will be forced to put our prices up at a time when the business is already threadbare and it will hit the pockets of taxpayers in Hyndburn when they have to pay more.”
The row is the latest dispute between the council and Max Cabs, whose owner Talib Zaman reported the local authority to auditors for failing to properly advertise increases in licence fees.
The council has set aside £210,000 to repay the unlawful charges.
Mr Baxter added: “It feels like they’re getting their own back. There’s no justification for cutting the age of cars, Blackburn and Clitheroe don’t have a limit. We’re going to be hit really hard by this.”
Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard refuted the accusation the council had targeted Max Cabs. She said: “It’s a ridiculous allegation to suggest we’re targeting them.
“We wouldn’t and couldn’t take anything out on individual taxi firms – there’s absolutely no hard feelings from our part towards Max Cabs.
“The role of the local authority in taxi licensing is to ensure the safety of the travelling public - we don’t want any old cars on the road, it’s about maintaining high standards in the borough.”
The council has launched a 12-week consultation into the proposal and all input will be fed back to the council's cabinet.