Retention of yellow-only taxis rule recommended

Published Thursday, 28th November 2019

Licensing officials at Hartlepool Borough Council are recommending that the authority's yellow-only rule for hackney carriages is retained following a change of heart from the taxi trade.

This follows a consultation exercise which has revealed strong support for yellow cabs.

The decision to consult on a possible change to the mandatory colour scheme – and several other proposed amendments to the town’s Taxi Licensing Policy - was taken by the Licensing Committee on September 11th

At the time, members heard that the owners of 60 hackney carriages - 45% of the town’s entire hackney carriage fleet - had formally requested via a petition that they be allowed to operate cars of a standard manufacturer’s colour.

This, the owners argued, would remove the need for vehicles to be sprayed the required shade of yellow, significantly reducing costs.

The results of the consultation exercise will be reported to a meeting of the Licensing Committee on December 4th when members will decide the future of the yellow-only rule.

Trading Standards and Licensing Manager Ian Harrison, who is recommending its retention, says in a report to the committee: “During the consultation process, a significant number of those hackney carriage owners who originally requested a change to the colour policy changed their minds and, instead, requested that the policy remain unchanged.

“In total, 21 of the 33 vehicle owners who signed the original petition requesting a colour change now want to see things stay as they are.”

When responses received from other hackney carriage owners during the consultation are taken into account, the final results show that 57 vehicle owners representing 65 vehicles (49%) want to stay yellow and 14 vehicle owners representing 45 vehicles (34%) want to change, while 22 owners representing 22 vehicles (17%) did not give an opinion.

In addition to consulting with the trade, licensing officials also set up an online survey to allow members of the public to express their views. In total, 827 people responded, with 71.46% in favour of staying yellow.