We have undertaken a review of our current policy for the licensing of hackney carriage and private hire drivers, vehicles and operators. It is intended to create a clearer policy that promotes the highest standards and improves safeguarding. A new series of policies have been created, and we are now seeking the views of the public.
There are five documents that form the new policy framework. There are separate policies for:
- Equality Act Exemptions (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles & Assistance Dogs)
We are responsible for granting licences to the proprietors, operators and drivers of Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.
Hackney Carriages may be the traditional London Cab style or may be normal saloon vehicles distinguishable by the fact that these vehicles have a white bonnet and boot/tailgate and will display a roof sign and display a blue plate on the rear of the vehicle.
Private Hire vehicles are usually 'saloon type' vehicles and include mini buses with up to and including eight passenger seats and display a red plate on the rear of the vehicle. Both types of vehicle display a small window sticker of the relevant colour in the windscreen showing the licence details.
The basic difference between the two vehicles is that Hackney Carriages can be "flagged down" on the street or at a rank within the District that it is licensed and Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through a Private Hire Operator. If a Private Hire Driver accepts a fare off the street without it being pre-booked, they are liable to prosecution. It is also important to note that anyone taking a journey in a Private Hire Vehicle which has been "flagged down" may not be insured for the journey.
- Vehicle Licences - All vehicles that are to be used as Private Hire Vehicles or a Hackney Carriage must be licensed by the local authority. We must be satisfied that the vehicle is roadworthy, has a valid MOT certificate (if applicable) and is insured for the appropriate use. You will also be required to provide evidence that you own the vehicle (vehicle registration document / logbook) or proof of purchase if the vehicle is newly acquired. Licences are granted for a period of six-months and your vehicle will need to be tested each time you apply. Applications for vehicle licences must be made on the appropriate form and be accompanied by the relevant fee and accompanying documentation.