Postal delays caused Norwich taxi driver to lose his job

A Norwich taxi driver spoke of how his 'home life was ruined' after postal delays caused him to lose his job when his taxi licence was not renewed on time.

Paul Arnold, whose partner is six months pregnant, was told Norwich City Council would not renew his licence because it arrived two weeks late, despite the fact he sent it five days before it was due. And now the 30-year-old believes he could be set to lose up to �5,000 if he is out of work for the 13 weeks it can take to renew a taxi licence.

Mr Arnold of Woodyard Close, Mulbarton said: 'I am willing to work, and I want to work, but because of some postal mistake along the way I have lost my livelihood.

'My other half is six months pregnant and I need all the money I can get at the moment to pay for the car, the house and god knows what other finances.'

The father-to-be, who worked for Norwich-based Best Way taxis, sent his licence renewal first class on December 8, but due to Royal Mail delays caused by snow, the letter did not reach the council until December 27.

The council told Mr Arnold that there was nothing they could do and he would have to apply for a new licence, which can cost upwards of �250 – �159 more than it costs to renew a taxi licence.

This means he will have to re-take the tests you need to be granted a licence, including a medical, a driving theory test, a knowledge test, and a criminal bureau check, which can 13 weeks to process.

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Mr Arnold continued: 'I called the Royal Mail to see if I could get some compensation. They said I used a standard service and they could only refund me the cost of a first class stamp.'

A spokesman for the Royal Mail said they would always encourage people whose items need guaranteed delivery to pay for a recorded service to make sure it is delivered on time.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from Norwich City Council said: 'We send out reminder letters, about six weeks ahead of the renewal date. Legal guidance is very clear on lapsed licences which states that if a taxi licence has lapsed then a new licence must be applied for.'

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