Fringe Box



Taxi Driver Loses Appeal Case Relating to New Livery

Published on: 6 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 8 Jul, 2016
Cllr Graham Ellwood with taxi proprietor Richard Gough.

Cllr Graham Ellwood with a taxi proprietor who has had his taxi liveried in the new teal colour.

Magistrates have dismissed a taxi driver’s appeal claiming that the Guildford Borough Council’s taxi livery policy amounted to a condition and should be removed from his licence.

At the appeal, held at Redhill Magistrates Court on 5 July, Magistrates found that the reasons for imposing the livery were sound and reasonable, and there was no reason to remove the condition. They also awarded the majority of the council’s costs in defending the appeal, to the amount of £4,500.

Cllr Graham Ellwood, Lead Councillor for Licensing and Community Safety, said: “This case was not a challenge to our overall livery policy and its requirements remain in place for all taxi drivers in our borough. However, I am delighted with the outcome, as the Magistrates have agreed that the reasons for the livery, such as protecting public safety, are sound and reasonable.

“We are now keen to move on from dealing with challenges to the policy and continue with implementing its measures such as the livery and a professional BTEC qualification for all drivers to raise standards and protect the travelling public. I am now looking forward to a liveried fleet of Guildford taxis in the near future.

“I would like to remind drivers that the council will only contribute towards the cost of livery until the 9 July, so drivers should not delay in booking their vehicle in to be liveried.

“We are very keen to engage in discussing practical issues around implementing the policy and I would encourage all members of the taxi and private hire trade to come along to the next Taxi Advisory Group meeting on 20 July at 7pm.”

Mark Rostron of the Guildford Hackney Association

Mark Rostron of the Guildford Hackney Association

Mark Rostron speaking on behalf of the Guildford Hackney Association said: “It’s a very disappointing result from the magistrates. They apparently believe that it was necessary for the security of the travelling public that Guildford taxis have to be teal green, and that no other solution would be reasonable.

“Obviously Guildford Hackney Association continue to disagree and we are awaiting the barristers report before we decide on whether to appeal the decision in the Crown Court.

“Additionally, Guildford Borough Council hired a Queen’s Counsel barrister at tremendous cost and persuaded the magistrates that they should charge the taxi driver £6,000 in costs, even though the Magistrates Association and the Justices’ Clerks Society have advised that awarding costs for a licensing appeal should be an exception, not a rule, and that any resident with reasonable grounds for appeal should not be penalised.

“I hope the Guildford public take note of this behavior by the council who seek to enforce a licence livery condition that was not asked for by a single person in their consultation but was instead dropped into the policy at the last minute by a small group of misguided councillors.

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Responses to Taxi Driver Loses Appeal Case Relating to New Livery

  1. Rosie Taylor Reply

    July 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    It is such an appalling colour.

  2. Paul Chilton Reply

    July 6, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Time for Mark Rostron to throw in the towel. He lost.

  3. Paul Bishop Reply

    July 7, 2016 at 8:42 am

    What a waste of everyone’s time and money. The single coloured taxi’s is a sound idea that improves safety and the image of the borough. The only arguments I can see from the drivers is one of personal inconvenience.

    I’m also glad the council are able to recover a majority of legal fees, there was never any real basis for bringing the case to court.

  4. John Perkins Reply

    July 7, 2016 at 9:48 am

    The idea of having a livery policy for taxis is not wrong in principle as most major cities have one and Germany adopts one for the whole country (I think). Some care needs to be taken, though, as, for example, a visit to Warsaw should be accompanied by a quick course on how to spot the fakes.

    What is odd here is that the council seems to have chosen a colour not used by any existing taxi company anywhere and not immediately recognizable by the public.

    Also, GBC seems to have a disturbing habit of hiring expensive lawyers to defend their position at taxpayers expense. It’s especially troubling as this case was heard in a magistrates court.

  5. Dennis Harvey-Hepherd Reply

    July 7, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I am disappointed only a couple of our taxis have yet adopted the new livery.

    It is smart and reassuring to passengers.

    I am sure I have been picked up at the railway station in the past by Woking taxis who did not know the area and when they drove away had Woking plates.

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