AN ACTON taxi driver says he's facing a David and Goliath battle with Wrexham Council after being told to remove signage from his taxi.
Martin Ould decided to become self-employed in January and began his own private hire business, Execxpress.
He claims he spent thousands complying with council regulations, including having his driveway surfaced at a cost of £2,500 to park his taxi on.
He also registered his home as the office address and had his vehicle VOSA tested in order to receive his private hire license.
But having followed rules to the letter, he now says he is being asked to remove the signage from his new vehicle.
The council says his taxi signs breach council regulations as the lettering is too large.
He has also been asked to remove pictures of an aeroplane, cocktail glass and golfer, as well as his company logo, Take the Hassle out of Travel.
The lettering on his taxi is 170mm high, compared to the regulation 150mm.
And he points out that the council does allow signage on windscreens, bonnets and back windows, which he believes poses a hazard to taxi drivers by blocking their view.
Martin said: 'It's bureaucracy gone mad, common sense should prevail. The council seems to be discriminating against private hire drivers - Hackney carriages can have advertising covering their vehicles.
'There are roughly 500 private hire vehicles in Wrexham and only 11 Hackney carriages.'
But fearing his livelihood is at stake, Martin has agreed to comply with council regulations by removing the signage and having it re-done at an approximate cost of £100.
Andy Lewis, Wrexham Council's chief public protection officer said: 'Limited advertising on private hire vehicles is a condition of license and applies to every private hire vehicle in the county borough.
'It is neither appropriate nor fair to allow one operator to breach these regulations while others are willing to comply.'
He added: 'It's unfortunate Mr Ould has gone to this expense but he would have been aware of these conditions, as they are clearly stated on his license which he should have read when his license application was granted.'