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Taxis in the East Riding will be the first in the Humber region to be branded with distinctive white and green livery to help improve public safety.
The pilot scheme, which will run until May and is being implemented by East Riding of Yorkshire Council's licensing team, will see white vehicles on taxi ranks across the East Riding sporting green markings and displaying a Yorkshire rose symbol.
The new livery, which has been consulted on with the hackney carriage trade, will:
• improve identification – the vehicle can be clearly identified as a taxi
• enhance security and safety – customers can be confident that the taxi is properly licensed and meets the necessary safety standards
• promote safeguarding – particularly on journeys involving the transportation of children and vulnerable adults
• increase trade –other authorities who run similar schemes report customers are happier to hail a liveried taxi rather than taking the chance on one with no clear livery
• create a local identity
• provide a more professional service – a local livery, along with clear driver training and vehicle standards help create a more professional service
• enables easier enforcement – taxi drivers raise regular concern about the loss of trade to alleged touting by private hire vehicles and taxis licensed to other areas so clear livery makes enforcement much easier.
The implementation of the livery will be carried out in two phases with all existing licensed vehicles gradually becoming part of the livery by December 2020.
Neil Paddison, a taxi driver based in Beverley, agreed to take part in the pilot scheme and fully supported the introduction of the livery and he said; "This is a great idea as it will give customers the reassurance that the taxi they are getting in is fully licensed and not bogus.
"Safety comes first all the time and having distinctive taxis will help promote that."
Councillor Stephen Parnaby, OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The majority of the taxi trade have fully supported the introduction of the livery and I have also seen the very positive reaction of people when they see the vehicles on the rank.
"The vehicles are very distinctive, and while the colours and the symbol are not identical to those of the council, they are similar and can reassure customers that when they get into one of these taxis the driver holds all the correct licenses.
"I am also proud that this council is leading the way when it comes to protecting the public as theirs, and the drivers' safety, is paramount."
Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvement and local partnership at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "We are delighted with the appearance of the new East Riding livery. It is instantly recognisable to customers as one of our licensed taxis.
"This is a new safety measure and will raise professional standards within the trade. We look forward to seeing more taxis with the new livery on our taxi ranks soon."
Photo left to right: Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvment and local partnerships; Malcolm Melton, Bridlington-based driver; Neil Paddison, Beverley-based driver; Keith Collins, Bridlington-based driver; Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Patrick Braim, Driffield-based driver; Paul Bellitti, head of housing, transportation and public protection at East Riding of Yorkshire Council