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Greener, cleaner cab takes to the streets of North Walsham

PUBLISHED: 13:07 11 July 2010 | UPDATED: 14:06 02 August 2010

Ed Foss

A new taxi has taken to the streets of North Walsham - but it is markedly different to its fellow cabs.

Although branded with the familiar Elite name, the taxi is smaller and far more efficient than its typical counterparts.

A new taxi has taken to the streets of North Walsham - but it is markedly different to its fellow cabs.

Although branded with the familiar Elite name, the taxi is smaller and far more efficient than its typical counterparts.

For the new taxi is a Smart car, a low emission vehicle which is cheap to tax and fuel as well as having a low environmental impact.

Its only apparent disadvantage is that it only has two seats, one for the driver and one for a single passenger.

But that is exactly the point of the vehicle, said Elite's Andy Bales.

“During weekday daytimes, 70pc of our journeys are single passenger trips.

“Whether taking elderly ladies to the hairdresser or a person home from the supermarket, it is a huge section of the business.

“With this car we can change the flat rate of £2.70 minimum for a short journey to a flat rate of £1.50, and all journeys will be up to 45pc cheaper than standard.

“There are other small eco-friendly taxis like this around the country of course, but we saw a gap in the market around this area and I suspect others will follow us.”

The car had a large boot space and good head room said Mr Bales.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb tried the taxi outside his North Walsham office on Saturday morning and said: “It's a very sensible way to run a taxi, it ticks all the boxes of low cost which is fantastic in these difficult times and being good news for the environment.

“And it's very comfortable as well.”

The taxi, with its carefully chosen number plate EC08 CAB, will be taking fares from Monday.

It has CO2 emissions of 86g/km and it should clock up 85 miles per gallon of diesel.


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