ALL Rochdale borough taxis on strike on Monday 24 January

Date published: 21 January 2022

All taxi firms across the Rochdale borough will be on strike on Monday (24 January) in a protest against the minimum standards being proposed for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles by councils in Greater Manchester.

Rochdale Association for Private Hire Drivers say that the introduction of the standards will mean 'many drivers will be forced out of the trade'.

The strike comes as First bus drivers also continue their strike, meaning many borough residents will be unable to get a First bus or taxi on Monday.

All the boroughs in Greater Manchester are signing up to ‘minimum standards’ for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles – in a bid to protect customers and create a greener environment.

There are 10 standards in total, including a common livery and colour as well as new requirements around emissions, testing and accessibility.

All taxis should also be under five years old at first licensing and no more than 10 years old.

The regulations come into force with immediate effect for newly-licensed vehicles and by 2024 for existing taxis. 

However, individual councils still have the discretion to tweak the rules as they see fit for their own areas.

In Rochdale, bosses have opted to give cabbies until 2027 to meet three of the proposed new standards.

First bus drivers are also striking on Monday, meaning borough residents will be unable to get a First bus or taxi on Monday.

First's services will be cancelled due to continued industrial action at its Oldham depot on Monday 24 and Wednesday 26 January.

A statement from the Rochdale Association for Private Hire Drivers released on Thursday (20 January) reads: "The Rochdale Association for Private Hire Drivers will be going on strike from 6am on 24 January 2022 until 6am on 25 January 2022, in protest against Minimum Standards.

"All Rochdale licensed private hire drivers and their customers are affected by the proposed changes.

"If the proposals go ahead, many drivers will be forced out of the trade and those that do continue will be hit with huge costs. As a result of this, the prices paid for taxis by customers will be significantly increased at a time where the global pandemic has already caused severe hardship.

"The protest itself is due to take place at Number One Riverside, Rochdale at 10am on 24 January 2022.

"If you have made plans and require a taxi during the time above, please ensure you make alternative arrangements.

"Kindly note that ALL Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton taxi firms will be closed in solidarity during this period. The changes will lead to increased costs for both drivers and customers alike, therefore, we must act now.

"All drivers and operators would like to thank all customers for your support in this matter.

"All relevant authorities have been informed."

Reporting; Rochdale Online

Additional reporting: Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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