Iconic ‘bombers’ are here to stay!

Taxi drivers on Bank Hey Street in Blackpool.

Taxi drivers on Bank Hey Street in Blackpool.

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BLACKPOOL’S fleet of iconic black cabs looks set to stay on the road – despite the manufacturer of the traditional vehicles going into administration.

Manganese Bronze, which builds the taxis colloquially known as bombers, went into administration earlier this week.

It has prompted fears the famous taxis might eventually disappear off our streets.

Blackpool currently has 159 black taxis in its fleet of 256 licensed hackney cabs.

But Ted Rhodes, senior licensing officer at Blackpool Council, dismissed fears the bombers could be reaching the end of the line.

He said: “In Blackpool our age limit for the vehicles is such that they can operate up to a maximum of 14 years and if a vehicle is of exceptional quality, it can run beyond that age.

“So I don’t envisage this will have a significant impact on our fleet.”

Mr Rhodes added drivers were easily able to get their hands on spare parts, usually from other vehicles which had reached the end of their lives.

Bill Lewtas, of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Association, said he expected the cabs to be around in the resort for many years.

He added: “This is bad news for the taxi trade and we of course hope that a solution can be found which enables this iconic vehicle to continue being made.

“However they are built to last and whatever the outcome they will continue to be in use here in Blackpool for many years to come.”

Manganese Bronze got into financial difficulties after having to recall more than 400 new vehicles amid concerns about the safety of the steering.

New cabs increasingly rely on parts made in China.

However it is hoped a new investor can be found for Manganese Bronze, which is based in Coventry.

The company said in a statement that “the board remains hopeful that the fundamental strengths of the company, the TX4 model and its global reputation will provide the platform for a successful business in the future.”

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