COMMUNITY leaders decided against a 'free-for-all' when increasing the number of black cabs in Ellesmere Port and Neston.
Councillors on the borough's licensing committee voted to give licenses to another five cabs.
Committee member Myles Hogg said: 'This is a controlled expansion of black cabs in our area, not a free-for-all. It's a policy we have had for a few years.
'A free-for-all would not assist anyone, not the private hire or black cab operators. And it could possibly be disastrous for the users of the local taxi service.
'At present, all the borough's black cabs adhere to all the modern regulations on passenger and driver safety and have CCTV cameras fitted. But if there was a free-for-all, anyone could come along wanting to operate a cab.'
The committee also said one of the black cabs should target the Neston and Willaston area for a year, to see if there is the appropriate demand.
If this arrangement doesn't work out, it could then return to doing business in the Port.
Cllr Hogg (Con, Willaston & Thornton) said of the overall decision: 'It's a pragmatic, sensible way forward.
'In a year's time, Asda will have moved to its new town centre location and the other town centre improvements and alterations would have taken place.
'We will assess the black cab situation again then.'