THE age limit of hackney carriage taxis on the roads in Pendle will not be increased, despite a plea from the trade.

The Hackney Carriage Drivers Association wanted the age limit of vehicles increased from nine years to 12 years because of the pressure being put on the trade.

But Pendle Council’s executive committee narrowly voted to keep the status quo.

Coun Paul White said: “On the sport checks we’ve conducted across Pendle on taxis, and there have been over 200, half of those taxis tested have failed.

“There was absolutely no way that I could vote to jeopardise the safety of our residents. I don’t think we should even be considering it whilst the failure rate is so high.

“Perhaps if they were passing the spot checks it would be a different story.”

Councillors voted five to four to keep the age limit as it was.

Jackie Allen, taxi licensing manager at Pendle Council, said in a report to councillors: “A petition from the Hackney Carriage Drivers Association was considered at a meeting of the Taxi Licensing Committee on February 13, 2014.

“The petition had 58 signatures in favour of increasing the age limit due to increasing financial pressures and lack of business meaning them having to work longer hours to make the same wages, affecting them and their families.

“Since the age limit was introduced in 2009, thirteen spot checks have been carried out resulting in 229 vehicles being tested with 118 being taken off the road with mechanical faults.

“This equates to a failure rate of 52 per cent.”