Dozens of taxi drivers in Dudley are planning three ‘slow drives’ through the town in protest after councillors refused a change in policy over car colours.
They claim the council rules to only allow white private hire vehicles is squeezing their incomes as the colour is more expensive due to its current popularity with celebrities.
However, councillors say a single colour is safer for customers as it makes taxis more recognisable.
Members of Dudley Private Hire and Taxi Association have now voted to stage the slow drives, which will go past Dudley Council House, to highlight their concerns.
But they have decided against a full strike, saying they do not want to cause problems for their customers.
Group chairman Shaz Saleem said the association is also taking legal advice to see if it can mount a challenge against the council’s restriction.
He added: “I welcome the move from our members because they want to send out a message to the council that we want to be treated with respect.
“The majority of our members voted against going on strike because if we had gone out then it would have been unfair on the customers who have shown us a lot of support.
“We have many people who rely on us to take them to hospital appointments, shopping, to the airport and other customers who have disabilities for which we provide a service.
“There will be a slow drive organised because all the taxi drivers want to show the council the strength of feeling over this.”
More than 1,000 drivers and customers had signed a petition calling for the rules to be changed.
Mr Saleem, who is managing director at Sedgley-based Beacon Taxis and Express Taxis, in Halesowen, said that white cars can cost up to £2,000 extra, forcing some drivers to pay for expensive re-sprays on other cars to comply with the rules.
The association wanted at least another colour option, such as silver or grey, to be added to the rules to enable drivers to purchase cheaper vehicles.
But the council’s taxi committee voted by a narrow margin of five to four to reject the proposal last week.