Plymouth drivers slam ‘insulting’ £200 grant for green-and-white taxi repaint

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Plymouth taxi drivers have slammed the local council for offering them an “insulting” £200 grant to repaint their cabs green and white (pictured).

Hackney drivers say the money will only cover 10% of the average bill for repainting or wrapping black cabs, which will have to be done by 2027.

Martin Leaves, secretary of the Plymouth Licensed Taxi Association (PLTA) said: “They are offering £200 but a lot of taxi drivers are saying that is an insult. We have had quotes for up to £2,000.”

In April, Plymouth City Council approved the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2022, which ordered black cabs to adopt a green-and-white livery in order to “improve the visibility of cabs and reassure passengers that they are travelling in a licensed vehicle”.

But Leaves told local reporters he had recently paid £70,000 for an electric vehicle and didn’t want to pay any more to change its colour. He said: “I’m not prepared to get it sprayed green and white because of the uncertain economic climate.”

PLTA has proposed that Plymouth cabs should simply carry the city coat of arms on the front doors, which would only require an inexpensive graphic to be applied to each vehicle.

Plymouth City Council defended the move. A spokesperson said the £200 was an award, not a loan, and added: “The council provides more than 300 different services and allocates its resources to provide the best outcomes for the citizens of the city.”