Taxi firms will be asked to sign a passengers' charter in a bid to improve services.

Cherwell District Council's licensing and services appeals sub-committee will consult taxi owners in Banbury on the wording and implementation of the charter, which will be carried in all taxis registered with the council.

The scheme is part of a bid to provide a level of service from taxis and private hire companies that is safe, comfortable and convenient for the public.

The overall framework will be based on the law, the council's by-laws, vehicle specifications and guidance notes to drivers and operators.

A report to the committee by CDC's chief administration officer, Peter Rooke, said customers' needs should be uppermost in the minds of taxi firms.

The report said the onus was on taxi operators to provide good service, while the council ensured vehicles and drivers were up to standard and that there was an adequate number of vehicles.

Mr Rooke told the committee: "It is proposed that taxi proprietors sign up to a passengers charter which can be carried in each vehicle so that a high level of service should be forthcoming."

A draft of the charter states that taxis should be clean and properly maintained, and that drivers should have a good knowledge of the area, know the traffic laws, be polite and offer help with bags and luggage.

It says taxis should be a non-smoking environment and all passengers should be treated in a non-discriminatory manner. The charter also asks passengers to treat the cab with respect.