The 1985 Transport Act substantially altered the legal framework for regulating hackney carriages such that a licensing authority may refuse the grant of a hackney carriage licence for the purpose of limiting the number of hackney carriages if, but only if, it is satisfied that there is no significant demand for the services of hackney carriages which is unmet. By contrast, local councils have never been permitted to impose an artificial limit on the number of private hire cars in this way. The questions of interest are: \ud \ud i) For what purposes do people use hackney carriages and private hire cars, and how do these differ? ii) Do consumers perceive any difference between hackney carriages and private hire cars, and to what extent are these differences considered important? iii) What are the implications of (i) and (ii) for licensing policy? The answer to these questions is to be found in an analysis of West Yorkshire and Leeds data collected by ITS. We also use some evidence gained during an unmet demand study conducted by ITS for Rochdale Borough Council
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