Wrexham black cabs set for radical overhaul

Council look set to relax restrictions on what qualifies as a traditional Hackney cab

Cab drivers want existing rules over taxis relaxed to allow a variety of other vehicles on the roads

Wrexham council is set to relax its restrictions on what type of vehicles can be used as taxis.

A group of taxi drivers, spearheaded by local cabbie Barry Wilson, got together last year over the issue.

They called on the local authority to allow them the option of using customised vans, people carriers and minibuses as opposed to the existing black cabs which they described as “expensive and unreliable”.

Councillors on the environmental licensing committee met in January and gave a mixed response to the idea.

They ruled that more information about the proposed vehicles was required along with a visit across the border where Cheshire West and Cheshire Council have already relaxed restrictions.

Two committee members have since visited a specialist vehicle manufacturing site at Crewe.

And after receiving assurances from the neighbouring authority about the impact of the change, a draft list of approved vehicles to be used as Hackney carriages has now been put together.

Wrexham council’s environmental licensing committee members will now consider the list of vehicles when they meet on Monday afternoon.

A report to the committee states: “Councillor Paul Pemberton and councillor William Baldwin attended the Voyager specialist vehicle manufacturing site at Crewe on March 9.

“During the visit, the councillors were shown around the factory site and given a full overview of how the vehicles are produced.

“Councillor Pemberton concluded that he was happy that the work was being carried out to the highest standard possible and that the work was some of the best he had ever seen.

“Councillor Baldwin commented that the professionalism of the Voyager organisation instilled confidence.”

It adds: “Cheshire West and Chester Council revised their Hackney carriage approved types in February 2014.

“The licensing manager at Cheshire West informed that the change had been a positive one and had not brought about any problems.

“The authority licence vehicles as either Hackney carriage or private hire but the vehicle must meet the relevant specification so as to maintain visible differences between the two licence types so as not to cause confusion to customer and public.”

Among Wrexham council’s proposed vehicles are the Mercedes Vito M8, Renault NX8 and Vauxhall Vivaro NX8.

The Hackney carriages would differ to private hire vehicles by having a maroon coloured license plate, a meter to calculate the fare and full wheelchair access.

Source: Daily Post

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