Taxi Drivers Meeting Councillors To Discuss Changes To Signage

PUBLISHED: 16:46 29 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:58 04 May 2010

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TAXI drivers from across East Cambridgeshire will be meeting with councillors this week to discuss proposed changes to their taxi signage. Representatives from several of the district s largest taxi firms including A10 taxis and Fencabs, will be giving th

TAXI drivers from across East Cambridgeshire will be meeting with councillors this week to discuss proposed changes to their taxi signage.

Representatives from several of the district's largest taxi firms including A10 taxis and Fencabs, will be giving their views on a number of proposals put forward by the district council at a consultation meeting on August 6.

The proposals, some of which will look at bringing uniformity to the district's private hire and hackney carriage vehicles, have caused controversy among taxi firms who believe their signage is crucial to passenger safety.

John Skipper from A10 taxis, said: "I just think that if it isn't broken, why fix it, many of our customers rely on being able to identify our cabs and I think that being able to see signs on the side of cabs is an issue of safety.

"While it might be easy to see what cab you're getting into during the day, late on Friday and Saturday night it's a different story and people need to be sure they are getting in a cab they recognise."

Some of the proposals put forward by the council include having a standard colour of vehicle for drivers, in a similar type of system to that employed by Forest Heath District Council in Suffolk which requires its cabs' to have a distinctive black and yellow livery.

Mr Skipper insists however, that any such system of uniformity would be prohibitively expensive for most cab firms who could have to cover the costs of re-spraying dozens of vehicles.

Other proposals suggest removing much of the signage the firms currently use on their cars, reducing the size of text to no more than two inches on private hire vehicles while stipulating that most text would only be permitted on the rear passenger door.

Cllr Ron Bradney, chairman of the Licensing Committee said: "Councillors agreed in May to set up a working party to consult with taxi operators about the best way to distinguish between Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles.

"Next week we are meeting with the operators to hear their views and have sent questionnaires to drivers to ask their opinions too. In particular, we are looking to hear what they think about colours, advertising and markings.

"We will then bring these views and comments together to review current licensing conditions. We promised we would work with taxi operators on this issue - we want everyone's views and opinions.

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