ANYONE who travels in a black cab in Liverpool city centre will be able to pay by card.

Liverpool city council licensing chiefs back a proposal to introduce mandatory card payment facilities in Hackney cabs across Liverpool at a meeting on Tuesday, July 9.

Originally coming before the licensing committee in April, members deferred a decision on the plan following concerns from drivers about where the card payment reader should be located in the cab.

Plans now recommend that the card machine will be placed in a plastic holder in the partition between the driver and passenger.

Chairwoman of the city council 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.

“This proposal also plays a big role in public safety because it means that late-night travellers will be able to get home safely without the worry of not having any cash on them.”

Drivers had also raised concerns about the need for a printer to be installed alongside the card machine to issue receipts but following consultation it is down to the driver to decide if they want to install a printer.

The drivers will also have to meet the cost of the installation and card payment readers cost around £60.

They now have six months to make sure their cab is fitted with a card reader.

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.

"We feel that this is the perfect opportunity to introduce pay by card to the Liverpool Hackney trade.

"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.”