Tendring: Bid to make all taxis the same colour could be watered down or abandoned

A DRIVE to make all new Tendring taxis the same colour could be watered down or abandoned amid strong opposition from cabbies.

Licensing chiefs at Tendring District Council (TDC) want taxis to carry a standard green and white design in a bid to boost tourism and encourage the vulnerable to get out more.

But the majority of the district’s cabbies are said to be opposed to the idea, claiming it would be a significant cost in the current economic climate.

The council’s licensing committee will meet on Friday to decide whether to push ahead with the plans or go back to the drawing board.

If councillors do decide to proceed with the controversial proposal, and taxi drivers ask for a judicial review, there could be significant costs to the council.

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A report for licensing committee members 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 has already lodged an appeal against the initial decision to ask newly-registered taxis to carry the standardised design. The trade body, acting on behalf of a Tendring taxi operator, had an initial hearing at North East Essex Magistrates Court on August 24. It was adjourned until October 26.

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Stephanie Conroy, writing to TDC on behalf of Tendring’s taxi drivers, said: “We have a petition from Tendring taxi drivers, the majority being opposed to this decision.

“We believe the decision made is wrong to insist we have a white car with corporate green flashings and Tendring logo as it will be costly to drivers and make earning a living more difficult than it is at present.

“Tendring District Council currently have in excess of 300 hackney-plated vehicles but only provide us with 55 rank spaces for these vehicles to ply for trade. So as you can probably imagine making a living in this trade is hard in the current economic climate, and with fuel prices being so high, as a trade we are having difficult times financially.”

Tendring District Council was asked to comment on the matter but did not respond in time.

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