Plans to rebrand Newcastle taxis black and white approved

CREDIT: Newcastle City Council
Plans to rebrand Newcastle's cabs in the black and white colours of the Magpies have been approved. Credit: Newcastle City Council

Plans to rebrand Newcastle's cabs in the black and white colours of the Magpies have been approved.

The proposals by Newcastle City Council had been paused earlier this year when they proved unpopular with taxi drivers.

However, the council has now approved the controversial plans and the fleet of almost 600 licensed hackney carriages will be required to be all black, with white bonnets.

The design is meant to give officially-licensed taxis a “distinctive” look that could help to cut crime, amid concerns that criminals have been posing as cab drivers to target vulnerable victims in the city centre.

The scheme sparked anger among drivers, who staged a protest outside Newcastle Civic Centre in June and claimed that the cost of fitting white vinyl wraps around their bonnets would become a “huge burden”.

Cllr Paula Maines, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a resilient city, said: “Taxis play an important role in keeping our city moving and many people in our communities rely upon them.

“That is why it is so crucial that we have a distinctive fleet of hackney carriage and private hire vehicles that the public can easily recognise.

“The unique branding will assure passengers that the driver, vehicle and operators have met our very high licensing standards and that they will be transported to their destination safely.

Taxi drivers held a protest against the plans in June. Credit: LDRS

“It also supports the work we do with key partners to stop unlicensed drivers illegally plying for trade and preying on vulnerable people – particularly lone women – after a night out.

“The safety of everyone is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring Newcastle continues to be an attractive and vibrant place to visit, work and live.”

The vehicles, which can be hailed in the street or pick up at taxi ranks, will also need to display red council crests on the front doors and have a taxi sign on the roof that is white at the front and red at the rear.

Private hire vehicles, which can only pick up pre-arranged bookings, will have to display a green council number plate and the operator’s details on the back passenger doors.

The council is providing a £100 grant to help drivers get the white vinyl wrap fitted to the bonnet of their vehicle.

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