Cambridgeshire cab drivers could be forced to change all the signs on the roofs of their vehicles, it has been revealed.
Licensing bosses at East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) want all the taxis in the area to have a white, illuminated roof sign with the word “Taxi”. They also want to have the district council emblem on either side.
If these regulations were to be enforced then it would mean that taxi firms would not be allowed to have their business name, telephone number, or the vehicle number on the sign.
This comes just months after the council tried to force all the taxi firms in the area to only use silver coloured cars. The plans were scrapped after a backlash from the drivers.
Alan Cole, owner of Alan’s Taxis, has said: “The council is trying to make taxis invisible in our district. The current signs enable people to easily distinguish what taxi firm they are using and that is how it should be.”
He went on to add: “To make all taxis look the same is dangerous, what happens if allegations are made against a driver? How is the council going to track that driver down? They won’t know where to start. The council is being petty, it will cost us a fortune to change all the signs, which is money all of us can well do without spending, and I believe the end result will have major pitfalls.”
John Skipper, owner of A10 taxis, has also been quoted saying: “I’ve got 30 vehicles. If I have to pay to change the signage, which I’m told costs around £100, that’s going to cost a fortune.” Such changes may also affect any future taxi insurance quotes.
He added: “I wouldn’t mind if it was going to improve things but it’s not, it’s just going to make every single cab in the area look the same and that’s not how it should be. They’re constantly looking to change things and it’s ridiculous.”
Cllr Tony Goodge, Chairman of the Council Licensing Committee, has also commented, saying: “Following a consultation with the taxi companies regarding vehicle signage, it was agreed to standardise roof signs on all hackney carriages licensed by the council from January 1 2012. This was approved by members at a recent licensing committee.”
Mr Goodge then went on to add: “The introduction of a standard, council-approved roof sign is just one of a series of measures to ensure that everyone who needs a taxi in East Cambridgeshire knows which are officially licensed by the council, to ensure a safe journey home.”
It remains to be seen whether these changes will actually come into force.