All of Liverpool’s 1,426 cabbies now have six months to install the card readers following a ruling by the city council’s licensing committee. Tony McDonough reports
All Hackney cabs in Liverpool will soon be equipped to take card payments after the city council’s licensing committee gave the green light.
Following months of discussion the council and representatives of the city’s 1,426 cabbies it was agreed that the installation of machines to take debit and credit card payments would be made mandatory for all vehicles.
Driver will have to pay £60 for the installation charge themselves but the council has given them six months to comply with the new policy which brings Hackney cabs in Liverpool in line with those in London.
Chair of the licensing committee, Cllr Christine Banks, said: “This is a positive move for the city’s taxi trade and one that will make it easier for people to travel by cab in our city. As part of the process, we have listened to the concerns of the taxi drivers and acted upon them, by amending the proposals.
“In an increasingly cashless society, it is clear that card payments are the preferred option for many people in shops, supermarkets, cafes and bars. With a cruise terminal, an international airport and many thousands of foreign visitors each year who don’t carry cash, it is important that we move with the times and give the customer what they want.”
The proposal originally came before the city council’s licensing committee in April of this year. Members deferred a decision on the plan, following concerns from drivers about where the card payment reader should be located in the cab.
It was originally proposed that the reader would be placed in the passenger compartment but drivers feared this could lead to it being damaged. A revised report to the committee now recommends that the reader be placed in a plastic holder in the partition between the driver and passenger.
The council consulted with members of the trade in the run-up to the proposal and drivers also raised concerns about the need for a printer to be installed alongside the reader to issue receipts. expressed the view that a printer was not needed because they had the option to text or email receipts to the passengers.
The new recommendation means it would be left to the driver’s discretion whether they installed a printer.
Liverpool-based UNITE union national taxi organiser, Tommy McIntyre, said: “In the ever-changing world we live in people are using less cash and paying for more services by card transaction.
“After speaking with the members the general opinion is that this will be fantastic for both the trade and the travelling public and would encourage more passengers to use the city’s Hackney fleet.”