Talking West Cheshire

Passengers and drivers urged to have their say in taxi consultation

17 January 2012

Residents are being asked for their views on proposed taxi licensing changes to improve the service for passengers and drivers alike.

Cheshire West and Chester Council inherited different policies from the previous local authority areas of Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston, and Vale Royal.

This means taxis otherwise known as hackney carriages adhere to differing rules in each area for fare structures, licence restrictions and vehicle type and colour.

The Council is looking to standardise regulation so that passengers, drivers and operators throughout the borough benefit from clear and consistent standards.

It is inviting feedback on the possible changes during a three-month consultation period which began this week.

Copies of the questionnaire are available in public buildings and community venues throughout the borough, backed by a poster and press advertising campaign.

Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Community and Environment, said: “I would urge everyone who uses taxis or works in the trade to let us know their views on the possible changes.

“All feedback will be considered when a decision is taken on whether to change any of the existing policies – so every opinion really does count.

“Our priority is to ensure that members of the public enjoy safe and reliable access to taxis, and that members of the taxi trade operate within a clear and fair set of policies.”

The consultation is focussed on taxis, their drivers and drivers of private hire vehicles. Licensing changes to private hire vehicles have already been introduced following earlier consultation.

Anyone wishing to register their views can do so in the following ways:

  • Complete a paper copy of the questionnaire and send it to Research and Intelligence Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Goldsmith House, Hamilton Place, Chester CH1 1SE, or drop it off at any library
  • Complete the questionnaire online
  • Write to the Council at the address above (please mark it Taxi Consultation)
  • Send an email to taxiconsultation@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
  • Call 0300 123 8 123 and ask to comment on the taxi consultation.

The consultation closes on Monday, April 16, 2012.

Story note: Hackney carriage taxis – usually black cabs – are licensed for immediate hire and can be picked up from a rank or hailed in the street. They have a ‘Taxi’ sign on the roof and a white numbered identity plate on the front and rear of the vehicle. Local authorities can limit the number of hackney carriages.