It has been revealed that councillors are being asked to scrap a rule that all taxis licensed in Hartlepool must be yellow.
It is one of a series of proposed amendments to Hartlepool Borough Council’s Taxi Licensing Policy which will be considered by the authority’s Licensing Committee.
The change has been formally requested by the owners of 60 taxis, which represents around 45% of the entire taxi fleet in Hartlepool.
Ian Harrison, the Council’s Trading Standards and Licensing Manager, said: “The request is that the Council replaces the requirement for hackney carriages to be yellow with a standard manufacturer’s colour such as white, black or silver.
“At present, any vehicle to be licensed as a hackney carriage must be re-sprayed to the appropriate shade of yellow. Those requesting a change of colour have stated that a move to a “standard” colour that is readily available from manufacturers will significantly reduce costs.”
He added that the change would also make it cheaper to repair damaged vehicles, and it would address difficulties faced by insurance companies in sourcing temporary replacements for yellow cars that have been damaged or written off.
Mr Harrison said that unless the Licensing Committee decided otherwise, a change to the yellow-only rule would not require existing hackney carriages to be re-sprayed and there would be a transition period during which Hartlepool’s hackney carriage fleet would comprise vehicles of two colours (yellow and the new colour).
A number of other amendments to the Taxi Licensing Policy are also being proposed, including changes to vehicle age restrictions and the process for carrying out driver criminal record checks.
If the Licensing Committee accepts the proposed changes, a period of consultation will follow and the matter will return to the committee for further consideration - and potential approval - in December.
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Image Author: Laurence Short