Taxi drivers will launch fresh protests after new rules get the go-ahead

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CABBIES have vowed to take legal action after controversial new trade rules were given the go-ahead.

The widespread changes to County Durham’s taxi trade have been rubber-stamped by councillors.

The policy will see rules governing zones, where only a certain number of operators can work in a specified area, removed from the start of September and a condition drafted in which means all hackney carriages and private hire vehicles must be white.

The requirement covering the bodywork would not cover existing cars, but new vehicles as they are replaced.

The plan, which was discussed at County Hall this week, was proposed after the seven district councils merged as the unitary authority took over two years ago.

Taxi operators have objected, staging go-slow protests through Durham in recent weeks.

They have threatened legal action and say the change would mean there would not be enough business or space to keep the extra vehicles operating in the city centre.

Councillors said they were satisfied they were acting in the best interests of the half a million residents living in County Durham.