Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Cabbies' views sought over merger

There are 1,500 hackney carriage and private hire vehicles in the county

Taxi drivers licensed by seven councils are to be consulted on a uniform policy for cabs, to be brought in when a new unitary authority starts up in April.

Durham councillors will seek their views in a bid to harmonise standards.

They heard that each of the seven district councils had its own set of fares, fees, bylaws and conditions but none had a formal taxi policy.

A spokesman from Durham County Council said further discussion would take place before any decision was made.

Councillor Bob Young said: "If we maintain the present set-up, we could have seven different sets of conditions, fees and fares which can only lead to confusion among the public and discontent in the trade.

"Currently there are 1,500 hackney carriage and private hire vehicles in the county and 2,500 licensed taxi drivers.

"The new council will act as the licensing authority from April and we are looking to harmonise standards to provide a better service for everyone.

"We will take on board the views and opinions we receive and use them to help us come to a decision."

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