Taxi drivers speak out against plans to make all hackney carriages silver in Cheltenham



Taxi drivers have spoken out against Cheltenham Borough Council’s decision to make all hackney carriages silver.

Decision makers at the borough council have wanted to bring in a uniform colour for all hackney carriages for a while, similar to New York and London.

After talks with taxi drivers, the council has decided on silver for hackney carriages – the type of cab you can wave down on the street.

A “clear majority” of taxi drivers, more than 50 per cent of those who took part in consultation, said they would prefer the colour over all others.

There will now be a three month introduction period after which all new taxis will have to be silver.

No cars will need to be re-sprayed however as the policy will be brought in on a rolling basis.

When a taxi is replaced naturally it will have to be with a silver vehicle.

As a result the colour of Cheltenham’s taxi fleet will change slowly over time.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay (LD, Up Hatherley), cabinet member for development and safety, has been in charge of the push.

He said: “A specific colour for taxis is clearly a good idea because it means they will all be easily recognisable.

“It also matters from a personal safety standpoint because we want to make it as easy as possible to spot what is a legitimate Cheltenham taxi.

“We want to make sure that our taxi drivers are of the highest standard, passing stringent tests, and that it is very obvious who these people are.”

Dark green had been the borough council’s suggested colour but it lost out to silver after taxi drivers were asked for their preference.

“Whether it will make the town look nicer is questionable, but if it does that’s great,” Mr McKinlay said.

“What really matters more is that we asked the taxi drivers what they wanted.”

However, taxi drivers who spoke to the Echo were not pleased about the scheme.

Diane Mitten, who works for Central Taxis Association, said: “I don’t see why we should have the same colour.

“They already have the great bright lights on the roof that say ‘taxi’.

“This has got nothing to do with the colours, they just decided to have the same colour to look good on the Promenade.

“Plus, if we have to establish a colour code, it should be different. A billion cars are silver – it won’t stand out at all.”

Dave Hallis, 45, added: “They want to make us more distinctive [from private hire taxis] but the public already know the difference between the two kinds of taxi.”

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