Renfrewshire Council has agreed to increase taxi numbers to meet unmet public demand.

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An additional 21 taxi licences will be granted in addition to the current total of 214 licensed taxis.

The decision was made at a meeting of the council’s regulatory Functions Board (on Thursday May 26).

The change is the key response to a wide-ranging survey commissioned by Renfrewshire Council into taxi demand which highlighted the issue of journeys from Paisley town centre on weekends after midnight.

The independent survey concluded ‘that there is significant unmet demand for taxis in Renfrewshire.’

In addition to public surveys and consultation with the taxi trade and local business, the councillors also considered the public benefit of increasing the number of taxis.

The analysis found that, while there were generally sufficient taxis available to cater for demand, there was a shortfall of taxis on Friday and Saturday nights in Paisley.

Councillor John Hood, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Policy Board, said: “The independent consultation obtained a wide range of evidence on how best to meet taxi demand and address the persistent problems at weekends.

“Our decision-making process has benefited from detailed, up to the minute independent research.

“The Board fully considered all the evidence and we decided that an increase of 21 taxis would be the best way of improving service.

“I believe councillors have taken forward a balanced, proportionate and effective response to resolve the persistent issue of unmet demand and we will continue to monitor the outcome of the changes.”

It is likely that the first of the additional licences could be awarded at the June meeting of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board.

As part of the proposals to improve taxi service, the board will also investigate and consult on the setting up of an expanded taxi rank in the town’s New Street.

Both the taxi trade and the police feel this would be better placed to serve Paisley’s night time economy.