Draft taxi licensing policy

We have launched a public consultation on the draft version of the Taxi Licensing Policy and are encouraging the public, businesses and members of the taxi and private hire trade to put forward their views.

The consultation closes on Monday 4 February 2019.

The outcome of the consultation will be considered by Councillors, and will help to inform the final decision which will be made at a meeting of the Executive.

We recommend that you read the entire document to consider the proposals but here are list of the main changes within the document:

General:

Replacing the current convictions policy with those found in the Institute of Licensing's guidance on determining the suitablity of      Applicants and licenses in the hackney and private hire trades.

  1. Taking the applicant’s whole character into consideration when making decisions.

  2. If an applicant has more than one offence, this will raise serious questions about their safety and suitability, once a pattern or trend of repeated offending is apparent, a licence will not be granted or renewed.

  3. An increase to the time elapsed since conviction.

Operators

  1. Private hire operators must have a copy of their table of fares on display if they have a private hire base and in any event in each private hire vehicle that it operates.

  2. Will be required to DBS check any front line staff.

  3. Completion of a safeguarding course (by the council’s authorised provider) for new applications and requirement to refresh every 2 years. Existing operators to complete a safeguarding course within 1 year of this policy coming into effect.

Drivers

  1. The Council will make checks on the National Anti-Fraud network database on refusals and revocations of hackney carriage and private hire licences on applications.

  2. Requirement to sign up to the DBS update service when their next DBS is due (currently every three years).

  3. Group 2 medicals required for all drivers every 3 years, until the age of 65 when it will be required annually (currently only from the age of 45).

  4. To inform the Council of any change of medical condition within 3 days.

  5. Requirement to hold a DVLA licence for 2 years prior to application (currently 1 year).

  6. Duties under section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 becomes enforceable if the list of wheelchair accessible vehicles is published under section 167 of the Act. Along with a procedure to be medically exempt from these duties.

  7. The drivers badge to replace the paper licence. Introduction of handbook for drivers to show conditions of the licence and other relevant information.

Vehicle Proprietor/Vehicles

  1. Introduction of a vehicle age limit of 12 years (existing licence holder will be given 5 years from the date the policy comes into effect to change their vehicles.

  2. A vehicle cannot be licensed for the first timeif it’s over the age of 5 years (age will be determined by the first date of registration on the vehicles V5 registration document.

  3. Requirement to sign a statutory declaration each year that nothing has changed.

  4. Inspection frequency

Vehicle Age

Frequency of vehicle tests and checks

0 – 1 years

     1 check per year

1 – 5 years

      2 checks per year

5-12 years

  1.  checks per year
  1. If a licensed vehicle fails its vehicle inspection, the proprietor must inform the Council immediately.The vehicle will be suspended until the Council receives confirmation that the vehicle has passed a vehicle test.

  2. New definition of what a wheelchair accessible vehicle is.

  3. Requirement for a Loler certificate to be produced upon application if there is a mechanical lift for wheelchairs.

  4. Introduction of a handbook showing the conditions of the licence and other relevant information.

  5. Private hire vehicles applying for discreet plate licensing will need to apply via an application form.

  6. Creating and publishing a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles under section 167 of The Equality Act 2010.

  7. Hackney carriage vehicles must be wheelchair accessible. There will no longer be a 70/30 split.

Read a copy here