Taxi and private hire

We are responsible for ensuring that drivers, proprietors and operators meet the relevant conditions to hold taxi related licences. If you are interested in obtaining a licence with us, you can find further information below:

 

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

On 28 June 2022 the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 (‘the Act’) came into effect and amended the Equality Act 2010 to introduce new, and amend existing, duties for local authorities and Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers and Operators. Disabled people should be able to travel by taxis and private hire vehicles free from any fear of discriminatory treatment. The changes introduced through the 2022 Act will provide disabled passengers with the reassurance that they will receive appropriate assistance, wherever they travel and without being charged extra.

From 28 June 2022 any Private Hire Vehicle Operator will be required to:

  • Accept bookings for or on behalf of any disabled person, if they have a suitable vehicle available.

From 28 June 2022 the driver of any Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle, regardless of whether their vehicle is wheelchair accessible, will be required to:

  • Accept the carriage of any disabled passenger
  • Carry the mobility aids and/or wheelchair of any disabled passenger
  • Provide any disabled passenger with reasonable mobility assistance
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure any disabled passenger is carried safely and in reasonable comfort; and
  • Carry out all of the above without charging any more than they would for a non-disabled passenger.

In addition to the requirements above the driver of any pre-booked Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle will also be required to:

  • Provide any disabled passenger who requests it with assistance to identify the vehicle; and
  • Do so without making any additional charge.

The Act now places a duty on licensing authorities to publish and maintain a list of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles designated as being Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

 

National Register of Refusals and Revocations

We have joined the ‘National Register of Refusals and Revocations’. This new register will allow licensing authorities to record details of where a taxi driver licence has been refused or revoked. It will allow our licensing team and other licensing authorities to check new applicants against the register. This should help to prevent people found not to be fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure. Any driver who has their licence refused or revoked by the Council will have their details recorded on the register. Any details placed on the register will be held for a period of 25 years before being deleted.

 

CCTV In Taxi's and Private Hire Vehicles

Following a detailed public and industry consultation, on the 18 May 2022, we amended our Taxi and Private Hire Policies to require all vehicles to have approved CCTV installed. All vehicles requiring a renewed licence from November 2022 will need to have an approved CCTV system installed before a new licence will be granted. Please read the amendments to our Taxi Licensing Policy Hackney Carriages & Private Hire Vehicles CCTV Supplement.

The Council now has an approved supplier, and existing owners and operators whose licences expire in the coming 4 weeks are being contacted to advise them how to book CCTV installation. Vehicles presented for a taxi and private hire test at our depot from the 28th November 2022 will have to have CCTV installed before attending or they will not be licensed.

Vehicle owners and operators should not install other non-Council approved systems as these will not be compliant with the new policy.

The current supplier charges £512.33 plus VAT for the standard approved CCTV unit (including 2 cameras as standard). Installation costs an additional £75. Larger vehicles may require more cameras. To book visit our suppliers' website.

More information on the requirements for CCTV can be found our Data protection, FOI, CCTV and EIR page, and by downloading this Frequently Asked Questions document You will find more details on prices on the FAQ’s as well as the supplier web page.

 

CCTV Fitting availability
While every effort is being made to ensure we have enough CCTV fitting slots available for everyone, there is a higher demand than anticipated at the moment. The Christmas period is also impacting on the number of slots available before the New Year.
If you are not able to book your vehicle in for CCTV to be fitted before your licensing test date at the depot, we will be happy to allow you to re-licence your vehicle (as long as it passes the other testing requirements), as long as you can show the depot a booking reference for CCTV to be fitted in January. If your CCTV fitting does not go ahead as planned in January the vehicle licence will be suspended.
The driver must take the CCTV Booking reference with you or you will not be licenced.
We expect that this congestion is a short term issue and will be resolved by the end of January. We will keep this under review

 

Hackney Carriages

These 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 and white plate on the rear of the vehicle.

 

Private Hire vehicles

These are usually 'saloon type' vehicles and include mini buses with up to and including eight passenger seats and display a red and white 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 where 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.

 

Applications for driver, vehicle and operator licences must be made on the appropriate form and be accompanied by the relevant fee and accompanying documentation. For further information or to obtain an application form please use our Self Service portal or contact the Licensing Section by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01246 217884/01246 217885.

Our Taxi Licensing Policy is divided into six sections for ease of reference.

  1. Drivers
  2. Vehicles
  3. Operators
  4. Enforcement and offences
  5. Equality Act
  6. Taxi Licensing Policy Hackney Carriages & Private Hire Vehicles CCTV Supplement

 

A new vehicle condition which has been added to all new private hire vehicle and hackney carriage licences, requires the vehicle to have a basic inspection each day prior to use and the findings of the inspection have to be recorded. To assist the trade we have produced a Daily Inspection Booklet:

  • Daily Inspection Booklet - download this version to print the booklet and complete by hand.
  • Daily Inspection Booklet (Interactive) - download this version if to complete on a mobile phone or tablet. (Note: To use this version on a mobile device you will need to have access to Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF Maker which is a free app. If you choose this option it is your responsibility to make sure the document is available in a format for you to read.)

 

Contacts

 01246 242424
 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Documents

No specific documents

Links

No specific links