Tendring District Council wanted all Taxis to carry a universal green and white livery in a bid to boost tourism and the image of the area.
But this was met with opposition from the cabbies, who said insisting on white cars with corporate green flashings would hit drivers financially and make earning a living even more difficult.
TDC’s licensing committee has now decided not to push ahead with the bid and instead consult further with taxi drivers. Although this would have made the distinction between Hackney carriage and private hire much better and would aid enforcement against touting and illegal plying for hire, the Taxi drivers were concerned with the financial aspect and couldn't see the long term benefit of the proposal.
Thought by many in London to be an answer to the problem of Private Hire forming illegal ranks and touting outside London's many night venues, in the recent PH consultation the idea of all London Taxis being black and all PHVs a single colour such as silver or white, was thrown out by TfL. TfL also rejected the idea of a pre booked sticker to be displayed on the side of all PHVs, while ID badges on Taxis were seen as essential.
The move by Tending District Council has been welcomed by the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association who said it was an unnecessary cost burden at a very difficult economic time.
A spokesman for the association said: “We have got a double-dip recession and the economy is in its worst state since the 1980s, or arguably the 1970s and anything that increases the cost burden on taxi drivers we would question.
“We’d also question the need for a universal colouring scheme and the methods by which they have come to that idea.
“It’s not been proven to work; cabs are all shapes and sizes. You look for a taxi light – the fact the taxi is green, yellow or red is irrelevant.”
A report that went before committee members said if councillors had decided to proceed with the proposal – and taxi drivers ask for a judicial review – there could be significant costs to the authority.
It said a judicial review could delay the matter by up to two years and cost the council “tens of thousands” of pounds in legal fees.
The National Private Hire Association lodged an appeal against the initial decision to ask newly-registered minicabs to carry the standardised design. The trade body, acting on behalf of a Tendring minicab operator, had an initial hearing at North East Essex Magistrates Court on August 24. It has been adjourned until October 26.
Tendring District Council was asked to comment on the matter but did not respond in time.
Source: EADT24 on line.