May 19 2013 Latest news:
EXCLUSIVE by: ELAINE KING, Reporter
Thursday, May 10, 2012
MORE than 30 taxi drivers have been told to replace roof signs because the lettering is one inch too short.
Fenland councillor Dave Patrick is one driver awaiting a rap on the knuckles from the district council because the lettering on his roof sign is 4in high.
Under new regulations introduced by the council in April, lettering on a roof sign has to be 5in tall.
Cllr Patrick, a Lib Dem councillor and chairman of Wisbech and District Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, said: “My sign has been on my taxi for several months, it was ordered from the Internet with the word taxi already on it.
“If you went anywhere in the world, my taxi sign would be absolutely fine.
“I am fed up with battling with Fenland District Council over such petty issues. I am sure that even the visually impaired can see that my sign says taxi.”
The problem emerged when a member of the association was issued with a deferred stop notice. His meter was being recalibrated at the time.
Cllr Patrick is also complaining that the council has failed to supply new rate cards to taxi drivers who are currently having their meters recalibrated to bring new fares into operation.
Cllr Patrick said: “Under the bylaws we are duty bound to carry the cards, otherwise we are committing an offence.
“We have been told that they are still at the printers.”
A council spokesman said: “The word ‘Taxi’ on the roof sign can be simply replaced for £2.50.
“All taxi drivers have been fully informed of the new regulations and of the need to comply with them.
“On Tuesday we saw 44 drivers for their meters to be recalibrated and it was necessary to issued ‘deferred stop notices’ to 12 who failed to meet various requirements.
“The deferral gives them seven days to make the necessary modifications. Meanwhile, we have made it clear that they can all continue trading.
“We are very conscious of the need to balance compliance with the regulations with encouraging and supporting the taxi trade.”
The spokesman added: “We apologise for the delay in issuing the updated tariff cards, which was the result of a printing problem that has now been resolved. They are ready now and will be sent out immediately to all the drivers we saw on Tuesday.
“We have been in touch with Cllr Patrick already and explained the situation to him.”