Driver dress code could come to the Ely area as part of plans to improve the taxi service

East Cambs District Council are consdiering changing dress code for taxi drivers in the area.

East Cambs District Council are consdiering changing dress code for taxi drivers in the area. - Credit: Archant

Taxi drivers in the Ely area could be made to dress smarter for work if a new policy is put into place by East Cambs District Council.

The idea is part of an overhaul of what is called the ‘blue book’ - a bible of do’s and dont’s for drivers with a hackney carriage license in the area.

Stewart Broome, senior licensing officer at East Cambs, said: “Although this blue book has been updated from time to time it is felt that it no longer reflects the modern taxi industry.”

He said it: “Needs to be redrafted in order to prove a robust document which ensures transparency, consistency and above all else promotes public safety and a professional taxi service in the district.”

Ideas for change include:

• Building on an existing dress code.

• Improving safeguarding so drivers join an annual updating service. The current DBS checks are only provided every three years.

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• Driver medicals every three years. The current system asks for a medical on application then nothing until the age of 45. Then every five years until the age of 65 when it switches to annual medicals.

• Allowing any GP to carry out medicals.

• Allowing novelty vehicles like fire engines, army vehicles and tuk tuk rickshaws to register.

• Introducing new standards of appearance conditions for vehicles.

Changes which will make it easier for taxi drivers include:

• Vehicle testing to be amended to every year up to the sixth anniversary of the vehicle and not the third.

Mr Broome said: “The taxi trade as a whole accounts for around 40 to 45 per cent of the licensing department’s resources.

“At any given time there are in the region of 350 live records which need maintaining and a dozen new applications going through the system.

“A clear and concise policy is essential to ensure the smooth running of this area of licensing.”

The suggestions aim to strike a balance that will be of benefit to the trade, the public and the council he added.

In a meeting of East Cambs licensing committee on Wednesdayy April 19 members will be asked to approve a 12 week public consultation on the proposed changes.