A permit scheme, which meant that more than 500 Hackney Carriage vehicles across the city could not dispose of their waste properly, has been amended to the delight of many residents and councillors.
Until now taxis were deemed ‘commercial vehicles’ and therefore subject to restrictions at the eight facilities across Leeds. Drivers were required to obtain a permit from the Council if they wished to use their vehicle to dispose of waste from their own home.
However, following a request by Councillor Kamila Maqsood, representative for Gipton and Harehills, Leeds City Council has acknowledged that while taxis are classed as commercial vehicles, they are unlikely to transport commercial waste and so these residents were being unnecessarily restricted by the permit scheme.
The policy has been quickly updated and site attendants informed they will no longer require taxis with less than eight seats to produce a permit in order to dispose of household waste.
Councillor Maqsood said it was a correct ruling and one which should never have really been in place to start with.
She said: “A number of local residents contacted me to complain that they were being prevented from disposing of rubbish at the Meanwood Road site, despite using the facility without problems for a number of years.
“I’m delighted that the Council has recognized taxi drivers often have no choice but to use their vehicle for personal matters and has acted really quickly to update the scheme and help out local drivers.
“The work of my fellow colleague, Cllr Mark Dobson, Executive Member for Environment and Parks, also cannot go unnoticed in helping to rectify this ruling.”
Mr Mohammed Shazad is a taxi driver who lives in Cllr Maqsood’s ward and initially brought up the issue after being refused use of the Meanwood Road waste sorting site.
He said he was ‘delighted’ to see the rule change, and thanked his councillor for her support.
“I was just doing some general DIY at home when I went to drop off some pieces of wood at the waste site and got refused access,” he said.
“I brought up the matter with my ward councillor, Kamila Maqsood, who was terrific in the way she handled the situation, keeping us up to date with everything.
“I’m now really happy that I can use these sites just like anybody else.”