Black and white taxis set to roll out across Newcastle streets to improve public safety

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Nearly 600 cabs will be getting the new look.

Plans to rebrand Newcastle’s black cabs to make the vehicles instantly recognisable to the public and keep everyone safe have been approved.

Newcastle City Council’s fleet of almost 600 licensed hackney carriages will be required to be all black with distinctive white bonnets.

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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.

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

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The new measures, part of the Council’s new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, were approved at a City Council meeting on September 6.

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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.

“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.

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“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.”

To support hackney carriage drivers with the new requirements, the Council will provide a £100 grant so they can get the white vinyl wrap fitted to the bonnet of their vehicle.

To qualify for the payment, the car should have been licensed with the Council on or before Monday, June 19 this year.

The new policy also includes a requirement for any new vehicles to be compliant with the environmental standards of Newcastle and Gateshead’s Clean Air Zone.

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