A SECOND taxi and private hire vehicle testing centre will open later this year - and political rivals in Bury have each claimed credit.

Council officials have awarded a contract to Sunnybank Service Station, which will open a new centre on April 1, complimenting one already set up at Bradley Fold.

Bury has 38 Hackney carriages, or black cabs, and 745 private hire vehicles which all need two tests a year to ensure they are in good condition.

Cllr Charlotte Morris, cabinet member for culture and the economy, said: “This will be warmly welcomed by drivers and operators in Bury, giving them a choice of stations to use when going for their twice-yearly tests.

“We’ve taken this action following extensive consultation with the trade and listening closely to the feedback provided by drivers.

"We promised last year we would do this, and now we have delivered on it.”

The council’s licensing section will be writing to drivers and operators telling them of the changes.

Cllr Nicholas Jones, leader of the Conservative Group said he was also "delighted" by the announcement, as Tories had been pushing the policy for a number of years.

Cllr Luis McBriar, shadow cabinet member for communities, leisure and culture, added: “This is absolutely fantastic news for our taxi drivers, Labour have failed to support this brilliant industry which are an integral part of our community.

“I’m pleased Labour have listened to the Conservatives on the MOT station, I now pray they listen on the clean air charge.”