A TAXI driver with a serious health condition has supported calls for the local authority to reverse its policy on three-year licences.

John McDonald is among drivers in Barrow who say they are angered at having to pay for new three-year licences when they only plan on staying in the trade for one year before they retire.

The 65-year-old has lung condition Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and says his health will not be up to driving his taxi for more than a year.

The A1 driver said: “I’m not going to be driving until I’m 69.

“I want a 12-month licence, not a three-year one.

“My health is going to get worse and I’m not going to be well enough for taxiing - it would be a risk to me and a risk to the public.

“What if something happens while I’m driving with someone in the car?

“I can’t guarantee that I’m going to be fit enough.”

Mr McDonald, who lives in Ocean Road on Walney, said he has had COPD for eight years.

“I can’t face another winter driving my taxi," he said.

Barrow Council has addressed concerns over the three-year licence which has become standard issue for many authorities across the country.

A three-year licence also works out cheaper than for just one year.

Councillor Tony Callister, spokesman for licensing and public protection, said: “It is a legal requirement for all drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles to obtain a licence to operate. This is to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users.

“Since 2015, licenses are granted for a period of three years which is not only good value for drivers, but offers them a more streamlined and efficient application and approval process.

“A phased implementation was introduced and our current policy is to issue three year licences, in the absence of any other limitation that would cause the Council to issue a shorter duration licence.

“It is also in line with many other local authorities across the country which have already adopted this process.”