‘Smart’ move by taxi firm

Smart Car
Smart Car
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A Fylde-based private hire firm is bidding for a regional first – by using environmentally-friendly Smart Cars to transport customers.

The owners of Warton-based Fylde Executive Cars have applied to Fylde Council to start running the new service and if successful could start using the vehicles in the new year.

The managing director of Fylde Executive Cars, John Coombes Jnr, with his father, John Coombes Snr after winning the Professional Driver QSI Gold Award

The managing director of Fylde Executive Cars, John Coombes Jnr, with his father, John Coombes Snr after winning the Professional Driver QSI Gold Award

Managing director John Coombes said the small-sized cars, which have low fuel emissions, would benefit the company’s passengers.

He added: “It is something we have been thinking of for a while.

“We have found a significant number of journeys are just one person.

“The Smart Cars are easy to access, easy for the elderly and would provide a reduced running cost.”

Mr Coombes added only a handful of services in the country use the vehicles, with none based in the North West.

He has applied to Fylde Council to approve the licence, with a decision due on Friday.

He added: “It is effectively a taxi for one. It would be used across Lytham and St Annes and for people who need transporting to Preston train station.

“Those are the people we are targeting.

“The cars would be in service between 7am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

“I think the nearest service like this to us is Nottingham, with another in London.”

Fylde Council officer Chris Hambly said the vehicles would provide easy access and give lower carbon emissions.

He added: “Although the Smart Car appears small, it is understood that high levels of passenger comfort are found inside and that there is a generous amount of space in terms of head and leg room.

“The vehicle is built as a passenger carrying vehicle by a mainstream manufacturer and has a very good safety rating.

“The licensing of Smart Cars will allow vehicle proprietors/operators to provide a vehicle and service which may be more environmentally friendly in respect of CO2 emissions, and more suitable for the type of journeys to be undertaken than the more conventional vehicles which are currently licensed.”

The review of the application will take place at a public protection committee meeting at Town Hall in St Annes on Friday from 10am.