After a series of meetings that the local borough council described as “challenging“, a final verdict has been passed requiring all Cheltenham taxi drivers to paint their vehicles silver and make them wheelchair accessible by the year 2021.
The council had previously met on multiple occasions with the taxi driver association representatives who complained that the required changes would be too costly, considering that the announcement was only made earlier this year.
When the changes were announced in March, taxi drivers protested by circling the Municipal Offices in the Promenade. After the four meetings precipitated by the protests, the local council softened its stance and agreed that the taxi drivers will only have to make these adjustments when their vehicles need to be replaced.
The drivers also expressed that they would rather modify their vehicles to run on electricity or cause less pollution to the environment than paint them silver and make them wheelchair accessible.
Hackney Carriage Association chair, Gary Knight, said after the meeting: “This doesn’t affect just taxi drivers, it affects the whole population of Cheltenham.
“This policy is cataclysmic. It has wiped out £2.6million of the value in our trade just overnight.”