Black cabs are set to get their own distinctive colour scheme as part of new safety measures to keep everyone safe and make taxis more recognisable to the public.
Newcastle City Council’s fleet of almost 600 licensed hackney carriages will be all black but with distinguishable white bonnets.
The vehicles, which collect passengers from a taxi rank or can be hailed in the street, will also need to display red Council crests on the front doors and have a taxi sign on the roof that is white at the front and red at the rear.
Private hire vehicles, which must be pre-booked, will be required to display the name of the licensed operator on the rear passenger doors and be marked as private only.
Cllr Paula Maines, Newcastle City Council Cabinet member for a Resilient City, said: “Everyone who uses a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle in Newcastle should feel safe doing so and that’s exactly what these new measures set out to achieve.
“The new colour scheme for hackney carriages – chosen to reflect those of Newcastle United – and the signage requirements for private hire vehicles will make it easier for people to identify them.
“This will assure passengers that the vehicle and the driver have passed our stringent vetting processes and they will be collected and transported to their destination safely.
“It will also help protect people from unlicensed taxi drivers who illegally ply for trade, particularly at night when people are out enjoying themselves.
“This builds on the fantastic work we are doing with partners through the Safe Newcastle partnership to keep residents and visitors to our city safe.”
The new measures are set to be rolled out as part of the Council’s new Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy, which was developed following a 12-week consultation.
The policy is set to go before Council’s Cabinet on 19 June. To support hackney carriage drivers with the new requirements, a grant of £100 will be available so they can get the white vinyl wrap fitted to the bonnet of their vehicle.
To qualify for the payment, the car should have been licensed with the Council on or before 19 June 2023.
The policy also supports plans for Newcastle to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 as it encourages drivers to help improve air quality by using ultra-low and zero emission vehicles.
The policy also states all new and replacement vehicles must meet Newcastle and Gateshead Clean Air Zone requirements and those which don’t will be phased out.