SALOON car taxis and private hire vehicles in a borough will no longer have to fit swivel front seats after councillors found them difficult and dangerous to use.

Hyndburn Council's Cabinet removed the requirement for their installation which had been introduced for the convenience of disabled and elderly passengers.

The senior councillors heard they were rarely used and had become awkward to get into after the fitting of protective screen between the front and back compartments to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A report from resources boss Cllr Joyce Plummer said: "During the Covid-19 Pandemic protective screens were provided for all hackney carriage and private hire vehicles licensed in Hyndburn.

"It quickly became apparent that the swivel seats would not operate with the protective screens in place.

"A group of elected members visited the taxi rank on Union Street and attempted to get in and out of one of the hackney carriage vehicles using the swivel seat.

"All present found the seats to be cumbersome and appeared to be a health and safety risk.

"Those attempting to get in the vehicle bumped their heads on the doorframe and would not have been able to turn the legs into the footwell without physical assistance.

"All came to the conclusion that the swivel seats were not fit for purpose."

Conservative group leader Cllr Marlene Haworth told the meeting: "These seats are difficult and dangerous to use."

Cllr Plummer agreed that she too found problems with the seats and had hit her head.

She told the meeting the seats were rarely used and the borough had a fleet of six fully accessible taxis for the elderly and disabled.