A CAB driver is again leading calls for a limit to be placed on the number of taxis in the town, claiming he is losing thousands of pounds.

George Jenkinson said his Hackney Carriage plate issued by the council is valueless because there are too many on the road.

He has called for a cap to be placed on the number of Hackney Carriage taxis in Darlington. To make his point, Mr Jenkinson, 53, has donated a £30 refund he received from the Labour-controlled council to the local Conservative Party.

He said: "This council has seen us protest in the street and do everything we can to persuade it to cap the plates, but it has not listened.

"A plate used to be your pension when you came to sell it, but now it is worth nothing.

"Ask the public and they will say there are too many taxis in the town, and they are right."

Councillor Tony Richmond, leader of Darlington Conservative group, said: "Generally, the taxi drivers are most unhappy about the way things operate between themselves and the council.

"We would sit down with them and have a constructive series of discussions to see where we could find some common ground."

Barry Pearson, the council's commercial and licensing manager, said the authority had done away with a cap after de-regulation led to changes in the transport industry.

The council was happy to let market forces decide the number of taxis on the road, and had seen a drop in the number of Hackney Carriage plates.