§ Major GLYN
asked the Home Secretary how many taximeter-cabs in the Metropolitan police area are over 10 and five years of age respectively; how many of these cabs are owned by companies; how many by individuals; and what steps do the licensing authorities of the Metropolitan police propose to adopt in order to encourage the introduction of modern cabs which, since they ply for hire at the same rates as the old cabs, are not encouraged?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I regret that figures as to the age of cabs are not available, but on 31st January last there were 794 motor cabs of old types licensed, and of these 550 were owned by drivers and 244 by fleet proprietors. The Commissioner requires every cab presented for renewal of its annual licence to pass an efficiency test, and when it appears that an old cab 789W cannot continue without renovation its owner is given a friendly warning to consider whether he would not be better advised to purchase an up-to-date cab rather than spend money on an overhaul which may not prove sufficient. In this manner a large number of old cabs have been withdrawn and their number is continually dwindling. 160 cabs of a new type have been placed in service in London during the last five months and 40 more are expected shortly.