GM bosses want taxis to be black and private hire vehicles white

Greater Manchester wants all taxis to be black and all private hire vehicles white as part of plans to 'modernise' services in the region.

The combined authority wants to develop a common set of minimum standards for taxi and private hire firms to help meet ambitions of having an entirely zero emission fleet by 2029.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, announcing the proposals, argued that such consistency would be expected in similar sized cities across the world.

For drivers this would include common standards on criminal record checks, local area knowledge tests, English language skills and driving proficiency.

There would also be a set standard on vehicle emissions, ages, colour, common livery, the use of CCTV, and accessibility.

Meanwhile operators would  be subject to criminal record checks and will be made to follow more stringent booking requirements.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Burnham said: “We want to see a more modern fleet across Greater Manchester with higher standards and cleaner vehicles.

“This is part of Greater Manchester becoming a world class city.

“You would expect to see a consistent taxi fleet in any other city of Greater Manchester’s size across the world.”

The plans will be included within the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan, which goes out for an eight-week consultation in October.

As well as proposing the UK’s largest Clean Air Zone, which will charge vehicles with high emissions, it also aims to encourage private hire firms to make the switch to cleaner vehicles.

Drivers of Hackney carriages could be able to test electric taxis and charging points as part of a ‘try before you buy’ scheme.

Mr Burnham said: “We want to see a more modern fleet across Greater Manchester with higher standards and cleaner vehicles.

“We want people to change vehicles once, and be safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to change again.”

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