Blackburn with Darwen taxi boss loses his white cab legal bid

Lancashire Telegraph: Taxi driver Charlie Oakes and his white car
Taxi driver Charlie Oakes and his white car

A TAXI boss has failed in his legal bid to force Blackburn with Darwen council to licence his white car as a hackney taxi which can pick up customers from the street.

Charles Oakes was furious the borough would not approve his white ‘Eurocab’ Peugeot E7 unless it was repainted, or licensed as a private hire vehicle only entitled to carry pre-booked fares.

Before the case, the council’s licensing committee confirmed its policy that all hackney carriages, other than two specified ‘London taxi cab’ designs, must be black.

Last week Judge Anthony Russell at Preston Crown Court dismissed Mr Oakes appeal.

Now the chairman of the Bolton-based Hackney Carriage Association is considering taking the council to the High Court in Manchester asking for a judicial review.

Council environment boss Jim Smith said: “We are very pleased the court agreed with the licensing sub-committee’s decision to refuse this application to licence a white, non-London style hackney carriage”.

Now the council faces further legal action from Mr Oakes and anger from Blackburn Taxi Association over new bodywork standards for the borough’s black cabs being debated tonight.

Blackburn with Darwen’s licensing committee will discuss the proposed regulations when it meets in the town hall. Taxi association vice-chairman Mohammed Mangera said: “We are pleased at the court decision on the taxi colour rules.

“However we are concerned at the proposed new bodywork regulations. They seem to be based on London taxis which cover many more miles. They would be unnecessary and too expensive from Blackburn drivers to afford.”

Licensing committee chairman John Wright said: “Everybody is unhappy at the current bodywork regulations which are difficult to administer.

“We have consulted the taxi trade and will debate new proposals before making a recommendation to coun Smith.” Mr Oakes said: “I am very disappointed about the court decision on my white taxi. Other councils approve different colours.

“Blackburn with Darwen council is stuck in the past. I am taking legal advice on a judicial review.

“This is not finished.

“The borough needs new bodywork standards but not ones based on London.”

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