November 27, 2012
Manchester is set to have a new style of black cab after Manchester City Council approved an application to licence the Peugeot E7™ taxi.
The Council move comes in response to a wave of demand from local taxi drivers, fleet operators and unions, who together called for a wider choice of vehicles and the abolition of the out-dated ‘turning-circle’ requirement.
The Peugeot E7 is already approved by 97% of towns and cities across the UK, where it has become the most popular model of taxi. Advantages for the public include a six-seat rear compartment, additional luggage space, lower CO2 emissions and enhanced disabled access, especially for wheelchair users.
Cab operators and drivers benefit from improved comfort, additional safety features, better fuel efficiency and lower purchase costs.
Gerry Facenna, chairman of Cab Direct, which supplies the E7™ black cab, commented: “This is great news. We’ve already had huge interest from the Manchester cab trade and are gearing up for an increase in production.
“This move puts Manchester cab drivers and passengers on a level playing field with almost every other part of the UK and will also help create additional manufacturing jobs here in the Britain.”
Manchester cab owner Paul McCormick, who applied to license the city’s first E7™, said: “I’m relieved and delighted. I have a business to run and want to invest in the best and most efficient vehicles available.
“All we wanted was a decent choice of vehicles and I’m certain the E7™ will prove as big a success in Manchester as it has everywhere else in the country.”
Alan Bray, from Manchester’s leading black cab circuit, Mantax, added: “I want Mantax to have a fleet that is modern, efficient and can compete effectively for both regular fares and contract work.
“I know at first hand, from my previous work in Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool, just how successful the E7 has proved for the cab trade and the public. For Mantax to offer a similarly high level of service in Manchester we clearly have to include vehicles like the E7 that offer more seats, more luggage space, better fuel consumption and much enhanced wheelchair access.”
Pat Conor, of the GMB union, said: “The time has clearly come for the cab trade to move on and embrace a wider range of vehicles.
“Whether or not the TX comes back many cab drivers will struggle to have confidence in it and we need to recognise that there are other vehicles out there that have proven themselves fit for purpose.”