STATEMENT OF NEWPORT CITY COUNCIL’S LICENSING POLICIES IN RESPECT OF HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS, VEHICLES AND OPERATORS WITH FULL COPIES OF ALL RELEVANT SETS OF CONDITIONS AND POLICIES
Contents 1. Executive Summary of Main Proposals 2. Definitions 3. Background 4. Introduction 5. Vehicle Policies and Conditions - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire 6. Drivers’ Policies and Conditions – Hackney Carriage & Private Hire 7. Operators’ Policies - Private Hire Appendices:Appendix A: Vehicle Specification, schedule of conditions and code of conduct for licensed drivers and operators Appendix B: Signage/Advertising Format Appendix C: Consideration of Applications Appendix D: The Testing of Applicants for Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s Licence Appendix E: Guidelines relating to the relevance of previous convictions
The main purpose of the Taxi Licensing Policies are to:
Demonstrate how we are taking into account the Department for Transport Best Practice Guidance and, where we deviate from it, the reasons why.
Produce clear policies and guidance to the trade, public, Licensing Officers and the Newport City Council Licensing Committee
Revise requirements for dealing with prospective drivers from outside the United Kingdom and for the checking of criminal records.
Provide information regarding the expected conduct of licensed drivers.
DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION Throughout this document:
‘The Council’ or ‘The Authority’ means Newport City Council as the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle Licensing Authority.
‘Vehicle’ or ‘Licensed Vehicle’ means both a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle; unless indicated otherwise.
‘Hackney Carriage’ means a vehicle licensed under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 to ply for hire throughout the district controlled by the Council.
‘Private Hire vehicle’ means a vehicle licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to carry passengers for hire or reward by prior booking.
‘Private Hire Operator’ means a person licensed to make provision for the acceptance of Private Hire bookings either to undertake themselves or to pass to others to undertake.
‘DfT’ means the Department for Transport, including previous forms of name under which that Department has been known.
‘DfT Guidance’ means the Department for Transport - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing: Best Practice Guidance, published on 2 March 2010.
the Sub-Committee’ means the Taxi Licensing Committee or Licensing Sub-Committee.
The term ‘Taxi’ has no meaning in law and is often used generically to describe both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles. Throughout this document and in order to prevent confusion, the use of the term is limited to instances where reference is made to other documents which have made reference to it..
DVLA driving licence means a full original UK driving licence.
This document contains information about legal requirements, Government Guidance, Procedures, Standards and Policies together with copies of the Authority’s sets of Conditions and Policies which relate to Hackney Carriage Vehicles and Drivers, Private Hire Vehicles and Drivers and Private Hire Operators.
BACKGROUND Role of Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles have specific roles to play in an integrated transport system. They are able to provide services in situations where public transport is either not available, for example in rural areas, or for those with mobility difficulties.
The Aim of Licensing
The aim of Licensing the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle trades is, primarily, to protect the public and to ensure that the have reasonable access to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire services because of the part they play in the provision of local transport. It is important that the Authority’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing powers are used to ensure that licensed vehicles in Newport are safe, comfortable, properly insured and available where and when required.
Profile of Newport Situated on the River Usk, Newport lies along the M4 Corridor, within a few miles of the second crossing and was granted City status in 2002. The City has a population of approximately 138,000 and is bordered by Cardiff to the west, Monmouthshire to the east and by Torfaen and Caerphilly to the north. Historically a busy port and industrial town, Newport is a modern City and in recent years has become a prime location for attracting high tech industry with corresponding decline in traditional heavy industrial plants. Newport has excellent communications with other parts of the UK with links to major road and rail networks. Although the City is primarily urban with an historic core, its City also extends to large rural areas and includes the historic Roman Town of Caerleon.
Taxi Licensing Profile
As of November 2010, the Council licences approximately 230 Hackney Carriages and 450 Private Hire vehicles. There are approximately 250 Hackney Carriage Drivers, 490 Private Hire drivers.
Government Best Practice Guidance
The DfT has national responsibility for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire legislation in England and Wales. In 2010, it produced revised Best Practice Guidance for local Hackney Carriage and Private Hire for local Authorities Licensing Authorities.
The DfT Guidance states that local Authorities will “decide for themselves the extent to which they wish to make use of it or adapt it to suit their own purposes”. There is recognition within the document that it is for individual Licensing Authorities to reach their own decisions both on overall Policies and on individual Licensing matters, in the light of their own opinions on the relevant considerations.
Bringing all the Councils Taxis Licensing Policies and Conditions Document
The Council has responsibility for Licensing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles, drivers and operators within the district of Newport. It has traditionally exercised this responsibility through a number of different Policies, Conditions and Procedures that have been developed over a number of years.
To assist the taxi trade and the Council, the various Policies, Conditions and Guidance have been incorporated into one document. This document also highlights the new guidance for Licensing Authorities which has been issued by Central Government. This 4
Guidance sets out what is considered to be best practice in terms of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing. 3.5.3
The Government Guidance does not seek to cover the whole range of possible licensing requirements. Instead, it seeks to concentrate only on those issues that have caused difficulty in the past or that seems to be of particular significance. Where part of the guidance is relevant to a particular section of this Policy document, this will be confirmed at the beginning of the relevant section. It will normally be followed by a statement of the Council’s Policy in respect of that specific issue. Consequently, The DfT Guidance has been used to shape this Policy.
Costs and Benefits of Licensing Policies
The DfT Guidance stresses that Licensing requirements which are unduly stringent are likely to unreasonably restrict the supply of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire services by putting up the cost of operation or by otherwise restricting entry to the trade. Licensing Authorities are, therefore, cautioned to recognise that too restrictive an approach may well work against the public interest and can even have implications for public safety.
Licensing Authorities are encouraged to ensure that each of their various Licensing requirements is properly justified by the risk it seeks to resolve or reduce. The cost of a particular requirement in terms of its effect on the availability of transport for the public should, it is argued, at least be matched by the benefit it would provide to the public, for example, through increased safety. Furthermore, Licensing Authorities are asked to look carefully at the costs, financial or otherwise, imposed by their Licensing Policies and ask whether those costs are really commensurate with the benefits that Policy is meant to achieve.
Taxi Fees: The provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 allow Authorities to set Licensing fees to recover the cost of running the Licensing scheme. The cost of licence/fees have to be related to the cost of running the Licensing Scheme itself. As such the Authority will propose to set fees to recover the cost of running its Taxi Licensing Service. The Authority will, of course, justify any charges it imposes if requested to do so.
INTRODUCTION TO THE POLICY Powers and Duties
This Statement of Licensing Policy, Conditions and Procedures have been produced pursuant to the powers conferred by the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, as amended, which place on the Council a duty to carry out its licensing function in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles.
In setting out its Policies and Conditions the Council seeks to promote the following objectives: •
The protection of public health and safety
The establishment of professional and respected hackney carriage and private hire trades
Access to an efficient and effective public transport service
The protection of the environment. 5
The aim of the licensing process is to regulate the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade in order to promote the above objectives. It is the Council’s wish to facilitate well-run and responsible businesses. The Policies and Conditions will go out for full consultation and will be undertaken with, • • • • • • • • • • • •
Newport City Council Licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers Newport City Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Proprietors and operators Newport City District Councillors Newport City Council Community Safety Unit Gwent Police Newport City Council Highways Department Newport City Council School Contracts Citizens Advice Bureau Age Concern Disability Groups Members of the Public Other local Authorities
Status of Policies
In exercising its discretion in carrying out its regulatory functions, the Council will have regard to this document and the Policies and Conditions contained with it and the objectives set out above.
Notwithstanding the existence of these Policies, each application or enforcement measure will be considered on its own merits and in accordance with the Council’s Public Protection and Environmental Services Enforcement Policy. Where it is necessary for the Authority to depart substantially from its Policies and Conditions, clear and compelling reasons will be given for so doing.
This Document containing all Policies and Conditions will provide those Council Officers and Elected Members who are required to administer and perform the licensing function with appropriate guidelines within which to act. If applications go outside these Policies and Conditions, which may be determined by a Licensing Committee: this can be in the form of a Licensing Sub-Committee.
Limitation of Numbers Policy
No powers exist for Licensing Authorities to limit the numbers of Private Hire vehicles which they licence. The present legal provisions on restricting the numbers of Hackney Carriage Vehicles are set out in Section 16 of the Transport Act 1985. This provides that the grant of a Hackney Carriage licence may be refused, for the purpose of limiting the number of licensed Hackney Carriages “if, but only if, the Local Authority is satisfied that there is no significant demand for the services of Hackney Carriages (within the area to which the licence would apply) which is unmet”.
Many local Licensing Authorities, including Newport, do not impose any quantitative restrictions for Hackney Carriages and the DfT regards this as best practice. Should an Authority elect to impose restrictions on number, the DfT guidance states that such a decision should reconsidered frequently, taking into account whether the restrictions should continue. It is suggested that the matter should be approached in terms of the interests of those who use the services of such vehicles.
Where quantitative restrictions are imposed, vehicle licence plates can command a premium. This tends to suggest that there are people who want to enter the market and provide a Service to the public but who are being prevented from doing so by the limitation of numbers. It may be difficult to justify a quantitative control in such circumstances.
If the Local Authority takes the view that a quantity restriction can be justified in principle, the DfT Guidance advises that the level at which the limit should be set be addressed by means of a survey, which would necessarily involve costs.
The Council has not at this time decided to set a limit on the number of Hackney Carriages which it licenses: no evidence has been provided of any difficulty arising from this stance.
Specifications and Conditions
Local Authorities have a wide range of discretion over the types of vehicle that they can licence as Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles.
The DfT Guidance suggests that best practice is for local Licensing Authorities to adopt the principle of specifying as many different types of vehicle as possible. Authorities are encouraged to leave it open to the trade to put forward vehicles of their own choice which can be shown to meet basic criteria. In that way, emerging designs for vehicles can be taken into account.
Licensing Authorities are asked to be particularly cautious about specifying only purposebuilt Hackney Carriages, with the strict constraint on supply that implies. There are at present only a small number of designs of purpose-built Hackney Carriages available. They are, however, encouraged to make use of the “type approval” rules within any specifications they determine.
The Authority is empowered to impose such conditions as it considers reasonably necessary, in relation to the grant of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle licence. As Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles provide a service to the public, it is appropriate to set criteria for the external and internal condition of the vehicle, provided that these are not unreasonable onerous.
Hackney Carriages, will generally be licensed for the carriage of up to four passengers, but applications in relation to larger vehicles that can accommodate up to eight passengers will be considered provided that they comply with the manufacturer’s specifications applicable to such vehicles. This will also apply to Private Hire vehicles unless they are treated as “Special Vehicles”.
The Council is committed to social inclusion and to ensure that a wide variety of opportunities are available to disabled residents for them to be able to enjoy a high quality of life. It fully supports the view of the Disability Rights Commission that, “Making successful journeys is critical to the social inclusion of disabled people. Without the ability to travel, disabled people are denied access to life opportunities. Their access to education, shopping, employment healthcare as well as social and family life is significantly improved when journeys become accessible.” For this reason, the Council considers it important for disabled residents to have access to all forms of public transportation. In addition to the general conditions, accessibility for disabled people including, but not limited to, people who need to travel in a wheelchair, is an important consideration.
Different accessibility considerations should apply to Hackney Carriage as opposed to Private Hire vehicles, and Hackney Carriages can be hired immediately in the street or at a Hackney Carriage stand by the customer dealing directly with a driver, whereas Private 7
Hire vehicles can only be used by prior booking, usually almost always through an Operator. On the basis that those with disabilities must have equal access to transport services, it is considered to be particularly important for a disabled person to be able to hire a Hackney Carriage on the spot with the minimum of delay or inconvenience and having accessible Hackney Carriages available helps make that possible. 5.3.3
Consequently, as from April 2007, the Council decided that it would only license as Hackney Carriages Vehicles that are Purpose Built “London style” fully wheelchair accessible vehicles. The Hackney Carriage must be safely accessible to a disabled person in their wheelchair and must be able to carry the person in safety and in reasonable comfort whilst remaining in their wheelchair. The wheelchair can enter either from the side of the vehicle or the rear. The vehicle must comply with British and European vehicle regulations, be type approved to the standard of M1 whole-vehicle or M1 (Low Volume) category and be unaltered since the type-approval.
Since 31 March 2001, licensed taxi drivers in England and Wales have been under a duty (under Section 37 of the DDA) to carry guide, hearing and other prescribed assistance dogs in their taxis without additional charge. Drivers who have a medical condition that is aggravated by exposure to dogs may apply to Newport City Council for an exemption from the duty on medical grounds. Any other driver who fails to comply with this duty could be prosecuted through a Magistrates’ court and is liable to a fine of up to £1,000 and could deemed not to be a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney or Private Hire Driver’s licence. Similar duties covering PHV operators and drivers have been in force since 31 March 2004. Further guidance can be found on the Department for Transport web site http://www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/taxis/pubs/taxis/carriageofassistancedogsinta 6154?page=2
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (as amended by the DDA 1995) imposes a duty on Taxi drivers to ensure that disabled people are not discriminated against or treated less favourably.
Section 165 of Equality Act 2010 place duties on drivers of ‘designated’ wheelchair accessible Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. These duties are: a. b. c. d.
To carry the passenger while in the wheelchair; Not to make any additional charge for doing so; If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair; To take such steps as necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort; and e. To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonable required. 5.3.7
Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 allows Taxi Drivers to apply to the Licensing Authority for an exemption from such duties in relation to their assisting disabled passengers. Drivers seeking an exemption will require a letter from their Regional Medical Practitioner stating the reason why an exemption should be granted. Section 166 allows the Licensing Authority to exempt drivers from these duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver’s physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonable difficult for him or her to comply with these duties. An exempted driver will have to display an ‘Exemption Notice’ issued by the DFT in the vehicle.
Maximum Age of Vehicles Policy
The DfT Guidance reminds Licensing Authorities that it is perfectly possible for an older vehicle to be in good condition and that the setting of an age limit beyond which they will not licence vehicles may be arbitrary and disproportionate. It is, nevertheless, accepted that 8
a greater frequency of testing may be appropriate for older vehicles, for example, thriceyearly tests for vehicles that are more than five years old. •
The Council recognises the advice given by the DfT and at this stage does not intend
to place an age restriction on licensed vehicles. 5.5
Vehicle Testing Policy
The DfT Guidance recognises that an annual MOT test for licensed vehicles of whatever age is appropriate. More frequent tests are not recommended, except for older vehicles (see 5.4.1 above).
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles will be tested once every year until 3 years old, and then twice each year if the vehicle is over 3 years old. The Council recognises the DfT guidance that a MOT test is appropriate, but considers it is important that vehicles are not only checked for road worthiness, but also that the vehicle meets the taxi licence conditions and that it is in excellent condition to carry passengers. The testing must take place at a Council designated test / testing centres and in accordance with the Council testing procedures. (Brand new vehicles that have covered less than 1500 miles will not be required to undertake a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Test.)
Vehicle testing arrangements are currently through a nominated Local testing station at which compliance with the requirements is assessed and confirmed by the issue of a certificate.
Any authorised Officer of the Council or any Constable has the power at all reasonable times to inspect and test for the purpose of ascertaining its fitness, any Hackney Carriage or Private hire vehicle licensed by Newport City Council. If the Officer feels the vehicle is unfit for use as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle, or the vehicle is in compliance with Taxi Legislation or the Council‘s Licensing Policy and Conditions, the vehicle’s licence may be suspended, revoked or not renewed. The Licensing Officer may refer revocations and renewals to the Licensing Sub-Committee to determine if the vehicle is fit for purpose. It should be noted that Proprietors that purposely cover up brakes/moving parts etc with under seal or any other method to prevent parts of the vehicle being checked will not pass the Council vehicle test.
Members of the Public can confuse Private Hire vehicles with Hackney Carriages, without realising that Private Hire vehicles are not available for immediate hire or able to be hailed in the street. Therefore, it is important that the public are able to easily distinguish each type of vehicle. Creating distinctive livery for Hackney Carriages helps to resolve this difficulty.
Roof-mounted signs on Private Hire vehicles are not seen as best practice even if they indicate 'pre-booked only'. This because as any roof-mounted sign is liable to create confusion with a Hackney Carriage which also has a roof mounted sign.
What is permitted or indeed prohibited to be displayed on either Hackney Carriages or Private Hire vehicles in a particular area tends to be a controversial matter of licensing control. At their most basic, any such controls over the appearance of Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicles must serve to ensure that the Public is easily able to distinguish between licensed vehicles and unlicensed vehicles. This will often be a sign of a specified size and shape which identifies the Operator (with a telephone number for bookings) and the Licensing Authority which issued the licence, and which also has some words such as ‘pre-booked only’. This approach; seen as best practice, identifies the vehicle as a Private Hire Vehicle not only helps to avoid confusion with a Hackney Carriage but also gives useful information to the public wishing to make a booking.
Within Newport both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles are required to display a plate on the vehicle. Currently, site plates are green in colour for Hackney Carriages and white for Private Hire Vehicle. It is proposed to continue using these colours in order to distinguish between the two different types of vehicles.
From the 1 June 2001 Hackney Carriages where required to be Black in colour or a colour approved by the Council. Private Hire vehicles can be any colour unless the vehicle is a “Purposed Built” vehicle. Purpose Built Private Hire vehicles are not permitted to be black or any similar colour to black to prevent their being any confusion between a Private Hire Vehicle and a Hackney Carriage Vehicle.
A Hackney Carriages licensed by the Council must carry an illuminated roof-mounted sign. The roof sign must state Taxi and must be illuminated when plying for hire.
Limited advertising is permitted on Hackney Carriages. Details of any signs or advertising shall be submitted, in the first instance, to the Council’s Principal Licensing Officers for due consideration as to content. If the advertising is not approved by the Officer then the advertising will be referred to the Licensing Sub Committee for its consideration.
Hackney Carriages Vehicles must exhibit approved Council door stickers as provided by and applied by the Council. (See Appendix B)
Private Hire Vehicles must have approved Council door stickers permanently attached to the outside of both the nearside and offside front doors of the vehicle. (See Appendix B)
5.6.10 Limited advertising is permitted on Private Hire Vehicle. Details of any signs or advertising shall be submitted, in the first instance, to the Council’s Principal Licensing Officer for due consideration as to content. If not approved by the Officer, the advertising will be referred to the Licensing Sub Committee for consideration. 5.7
Taxi Fares Policy
Licensing Authorities have the power to set Hackney Carriage fares for journeys within their area and the majority, including Newport City Council, do so. There is no power to set Private Hire fees. Fare scales should be designed with a view to practicality. The DfT sees it as good practice to review the fare scales at regular intervals, including any graduation of the fare scale by time of day or day of the week. The DfT also suggests that in reviewing fares, Authorities should pay particular regard to the needs of the travelling public, with reference both to what it is reasonable to expect people to pay but also to the need to give taxi drivers sufficient incentive to provide a service when it is needed. There may well be a case for allowing higher fares to be changed at times of higher demand, for example later at night and early morning.
The Council will set Hackney Carriages fares but these fares will be a maximum fare that Drivers or Operators can charge. Drivers or Operators that wish to charge less than the Council Tariff may do so. The Fare Tariff will be reviewed to make sure it meets with both the needs of the travelling Public and of the Trade in providing a Service to Members of the Public.
Although the Council is not permitted to set fares for Private Hire Vehicles, Private Hire vehicles wishing to have taxi meters in the vehicle will be required to run under the operator’s tariff. The vehicle will also be required to display the Operator’s Tariff on a tariff card in a prominent position within the vehicle.
The DfT Guidance recommends Licensing Authorities to look sympathetically on or to actively encourage the installation of security measures such as a screen between driver and passengers or CCTV systems as a means of providing some protection for vehicle drivers. 10
5.8.2 It is not required by this Policy and Conditions that such measures should be implemented, as it considered that such decisions are best left to the judgement of Proprietors and Drivers themselves. The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Trades are, however, encouraged to build good links with Heddlu Gwent Police, and to participate in the Community Safety Partnership- ‘Safer Newport’. However, should proprietors wish to install CCTV in their Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle, they must write to the Licensing Authority and inform them of the installation. There is extensive information on the use of CCTV, including as part of measures to reduce crime on the Home Office web site, www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/cctv/cctvminisite25.htm 5.8.3 Hackney Carriages that wish to use the passenger seat for a paying passenger or for gain must have CCTV present in the vehicle and such must be approved by the Council; separate guidance will be available for Proprietors. This will allow the provisions of the front seat to be used by family and friends when the vehicle is “not working”. 5.8.4
Consideration of Vehicle Applications
The Council will consider all licensing applications on their own merits once it is satisfied that the appropriate criteria have been met and the application form and supporting documents have been completed.
Grant and Renewal of Vehicle Licences Policy
The DfT Guidance makes no recommendation as to the duration of Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle licences and legislation limits the maximum period of such licences to twelve months.
The Council grants Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle Licences for one year, if the vehicle is less than 3 years old, or 6 months, if the vehicle is over 3 years old, at the period from the date of grant.
Environmental Considerations Policy
5.10.1 The DfT Guidance asks Licensing Authorities to consider how far their vehicle Licensing Policies can and should support any Local Environmental Policies that they may have adopted, bearing in mind the need to ensure that benefits outweigh costs. They suggest that Authorities may wish to consider setting vehicle emission standards by promoting cleaner fuels. The DfT guidance states that Local Licensing Authorities may wish to note that a review carried out by the National Society for Cleaner Air in 2005 found that taxis were more likely than other vehicles to fail emission tests. 5.10.2 It is considered that efforts should be made, through the Licensing Policy, to improve the efficiency of vehicles licensed to operate in the district by reducing the levels of CO2 emitted. There is a move towards the use of alternative fuels and improved technology would help to ensure that certain vehicles would be more “environmentally friendly” in terms of the levels of pollution so caused.. 5.10.3 The Authority may consider introducing incentives for vehicles that produce lower carbon dioxide emissions in the future but will also look favourably at vehicles that produce lower carbon dioxide under its Special Vehicle Policy. 5.11
“Special” Vehicles/Stretched Limousines Policy
5.11.1 Local Licensing Authorities may be asked to license stretched limousines as Private Hire Vehicles. It is suggested by DfT guidance that Local Authorities should approach such requests on the basis that these vehicles, where they have fewer than nine passenger seats, have a legitimate role to play in the private hire trade and meet a public demand. Indeed, this Authority’s view is that it is not a legitimate course of action for Licensing 11
Authorities to adopt Policies that exclude stretch limousines as a matter of principle. Indeed such could expose them to legal challenge. A Policy of excluding stretch limousines creates an unacceptable risk to the travelling public, as it could lead to higher levels of unlawful operation. Public safety considerations are best supported by Policies that allow respectable, Operators to obtain licences on the same basis as other Private Hire Vehicle Operators. DfT Guidance on the Licensing arrangements for stretched limousines can be viewed at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/taxis/stretchlimousines.pdf. The Council’s “special vehicle” Policy in respect of licence applications for such vehicles is set out in Appendix A. 5.11.2 Where a vehicle has been imported from another country VOSA approved certification will be required. Historically this has been in a form of Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) inspection regime before becoming registered in the United Kingdom. This is now the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Scheme. The IVA test verifies that the converted vehicle is built to certain safety and environmental standards. The Council will require imported vehicles to meet the IVA standard and require evidence of this in the form of the V5C (Registration Certificate) of the vehicle, which may refer to IVA under the "Special Note" Section; or the Proprietor must obtain written conformation from VOSA, Ellipse, Padley Road, Swansea, SA1 8AN, that the vehicle is IVA, Proprietors will require details of the vehicle's make and model, registration number and VIN number. Consideration may be given to the age of such vehicles, these usually being five years old when imported into the United Kingdon. 5.11.3 Due to the individual nature of a “special vehicle” it will inevitably give rise to issues that would not apply to conventional Private Hire vehicles and therefore it will be necessary to consider whether special conditions should be included on any licence. The Authority will take into consideration the guidance issued by the DfT on 28 January 2008 entitled “Guidance for Operators of Stretch Limousines”. 5.11.4 Stretched Limousines which clearly that have more than 8 passenger seats will not and can not be licensed as Private Hire Vehicle because they are outside the Licensing regime for Private Hire legislation. However, under some circumstances the SVA regime accepted vehicles with space for more than 8 passengers, particularly where the precise number of passenger seats was hard to determine. In these circumstances, if the vehicle had obtained an SVA certificate, the Authority at a Sub- Committee hearing, would consider the case on its merits in deciding whether to license the vehicle under the strict condition that the vehicle will not be used to carry more than 8 passengers, this is on the grounds that refusal may encourage illegal private hire operation. It is recognised that the removal of seats from a vehicle may conflict with its status as a vehicle unattended since date of manufacture and that such could present a potential danger to passengers given the attention to the space within the vehicle and its balance. 5.12
5.12.1 Until January, 2008, there were no requirements for a vehicle to be licensed when used for a contract with an organisation or firm for a period of at least seven days, for carrying passengers for hire or reward under a contract for the hire of the vehicle. However, this exemption only applied to the vehicle and driver specified by the contract and then only during the period of the contract. Any vehicle being used for a contract with one firm could not be used for any other contract or purpose during the period of that contract. Vehicles carrying out contract work after that date have been required to be licensed by the Council in order to continue to undertake that work: this includes school transport. 5.13.
5.13.1 There is no requirement for a vehicle to be licensed when it is used solely in connection with a funeral, or is wholly or mainly used by a person carrying on the business of a Funeral Director.
5.14.1 A vehicle does not need to be licensed while it is being used solely for the wedding service. 5.15
Hackney Carriage Stands
5.15.1 The purpose of Hackney Carriage stands (also known as ‘Taxi Ranks’) is to provide the public with a set location where they can hire a licensed hackney carriage. The stand is only where a Hackney Carriage may ply for hire in a stationary position and shall be situated in locations where the public most need hackney carriages, for example adjacent to transport facilities, retail areas and places of employment, entertainment and leisure facilities. Stands shall be sited so that passengers can board or alight from the vehicle safely. Stands can be continual or be for part time use. The Authority shall work with the Hackney Carriage trade and other stakeholders to keep stands under constant review. 5.15.2 Hackney Carriage Hailing Points Hackney Carriage hailing points have been introduced in other parts of the country and are an alternative to a stand where there is insufficient space for a stand or the location does not justify the creation of a stand. It is a specific location where the public know they will be able to hail a passing Hackney Carriage and the theory is that licensed drivers know where they are and will ensure they pass them on a regular basis. There is no provision for Hackney Carriages to wait at these locations. No hailing points exist currently in Newport, but the Council will consider requests for such on their individual merits as they arise. 5.15.3 Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Conditions A copy of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle conditions can be found in Appendix A.
POLICIES AND CONDITIONS RELATING TO DRIVERS
The statutory and practical criteria and qualifications for a Private Hire driver are broadly identical to those for a Hackney Carriage Driver. The sections below apply equally to Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Drivers.
Age and Experience Policy
The Guidance recommends against setting a maximum age limit for drivers provided that regular medical checks are made. It also considers that minimum age limits, beyond the statutory periods for holding a full driver licence are inappropriate, advising that applicants should be assessed on their merits.
The Council has not chosen to impose either a maximum or minimum age limit for drivers. However, a minimum period of post-qualification driving experience of one year is required.
For those over 65 years old, reference should be made to Section 7.5 below.
Topographical Knowledge & Licensing Conditions (Driver Knowledge Tests) Policy
Hackney Carriage drivers need a good working knowledge of the area for which they are licensed, because vehicles can be hired immediately, directly with the driver, at Hackney Carriage stands or on the street. The DfT recognises that most Authorities require prospective drivers to pass a test of local topographical knowledge as a condition of first grant of a licence.
In order to maintain the high standards expected of drivers, a licence to drive a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle will not be granted unless the Licensing Authority is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person. In this context the ability to find 13
destinations and read maps is seen as being a fundamental in providing a quality service for passengers. 6.3.3
In order to determine such fitness, applicants will be required to undertake a test as to their knowledge of: •
How to use an A-Z Map
Locations of specific places within Newport.
Hackney Carriage drivers are tested on specific routes without the aid of a map.
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing law.
The Highway Code.
6.3.4 If a Driver is not able to satisfactorily complete the test due to difficulties with spoken English, support will be offered to them to seek out opportunities for language instruction. Applicants that fail the knowledge test will be required to re-sit the test and also pay an additional retest fee. Further information regarding knowledge testing can be found in Appendix D. 6.4
Driving Proficiency and Qualifications Policy
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) provides a driving assessment designed for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers. While most Licensing Authorities rely on the standard car driving licence as evidence of driving proficiency, others require the above mentioned DSA assessment or some further driving test to be taken. Authorities considering this route are asked to be mindful as to whether or not this produces benefits, which are commensurate with the costs involved for would-be drivers, in terms of both money and the broader obstacles of entry to the trade. Similarly there are nationally recognised vocational qualifications for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trades. These cover customer care, including how best to meet the needs of people with disabilities and there may be advantages in encouraging drivers to obtain one of these.
The Council believes that at present the standard car-driving test provides sufficient evidence of driving competency for the drivers of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. It is considered that introducing a requirement that drivers pass the specific DSA test or indeed any other competency qualification would not at present produce benefits which are commensurate with the costs involved. However, it should be noted that if the Authority receives evidence that a poor standard of driving exists, the Authority may review this decision. If a licensed driver has to attend a Licensing Sub Committee in regard to a poor standard of driving another option available to the Sub-Committee, rather than suspending or revoking the driver’s licence, would be to require the driver to attend and pass such a course.
Where applicants have recently arrived from countries within the European Union, any driving licence entitlement held in that country will have the effect of automatically counting towards the qualification requirement for the issue of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle driver’s licence.
Applicants who have held a full driving licence issued by a European Economic Area country for at least twelve months are also qualified to apply for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle driver’s licence. Upon application, applicants will be required to apply for a conversion of their existing driver’s licence to a UK DVLA driver’s licence. The 14
Licensing Authority will not renew a licence to drive a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle unless the applicant holds a UK DVLA driver’s licence. 6.4.5
Where applicants have been resident in other non-EU countries, it is possible for them to convert any existing driving licence to a UK issued driving licence by passing an appropriate driving test.
It is a requirement for applicants to provide to the Licensing Authority with proof that they are legally entitled to work within the United Kingdom.
The DfT recognises that it is good practice for medical checks to be made on each driver as a condition of the initial grant of a licence and thereafter at each renewal. Adopting 'Group 2' medical standards and applying the C1 Standards to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Drivers with insulin treated diabetes is considered to be best practice.
A medical examination by a General Practitioner with whom the applicant is registered and who has access to the drivers medical records, to assess an applicant’s fitness to drive a licensed vehicle is required before a licence will be granted. It is Council Policy that a DVLA Group 2 standard of medical fitness for professional drivers must be undertaken. A request for a medical examination document, which must be presented to the General Practitioner, with whom the applicant is registered, is available from the Licensing Section. The applicant is responsible for paying the fee for the examination to his/her relevant surgery. On completion, the examination report must be submitted to the Licensing Section. The applicant may on request have a copy of the report.
Licence Holders are required to be re-examined when they reach the ages of 45, 50, 55 and 60 years old. Those who are 65 years and over, or those with relevant medical conditions, will require an annual examination. More frequent checks will be required if, in the opinion of the Medical Practitioner, such is necessary.
Holders of current PSV and/or HGV Licences, who are able to produce proof of a current medical examination, not more than one month old, will not be required to undergo a further medical examination before licensing or re-licensing.
Currently licence holders must advise the Licensing Section of any deterioration in their health that may affect their driving capabilities. Notification must be given in writing and within 14 working days. The Licence Holder will have to either obtain a written statement from their General Practitioner with whom they are registered to confirm that the medical condition does not affect their Group 2 entitlement or to produce a new Group 2 medical. Failure to produce a written statement from the applicant’s General Practitioner or a new Group 2 medical within 14 days will result in the driver’s licence being suspended.
Where there is any doubt as to the medical fitness of the applicant, the Council may require the applicant to undergo a further examination by a medical practitioner appointed by the Council.
Where there remains any doubt about the fitness of any applicant, a Licensing SubCommittee will review the opinion of the examining Medical Practitioner and make the final decision.
Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) Disclosures Policy
A criminal record check on a driver is seen as an important safety measure. The DfT considers that such checks should be at the level of standard / enhanced disclosure through the Criminal Records Bureau as these include details of spent convictions and Police cautions. It is recommended as best practice that Criminal Records Bureau disclosures should first be applied for when a licence is first sought and then every three years, even if a licence is renewed annually. Drivers must report all new convictions and cautions to the Licensing Authority in writing within seven days. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 excludes Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers. Applicants for such licences are, therefore, required to disclose all convictions, including those that are regarded as spent under the 1974 Act.
Before an application for a driver’s licence will be considered the applicant must undertake a standard / enhanced CRB disclosure of criminal convictions. New applicants from Overseas must obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from the relevant Embassy. A CRB check and a certificate of good conduct will be required for those who have resided in the UK for less than five years.
The Council is an approved Criminal Records Bureau body. Therefore, applicants can apply for a CRB check through the Council. It should be noted that the Authority will not facilitate portability of CRB checks from one Public Body to another.
A further enhanced CRB disclosure must be obtained and submitted by a licensed driver to the Council every three years. In having a regime which allows for a CRB check on drivers every three years, the Council additionally has system of undertaking CRB checks on drivers on a random basis. It should be noted that incomplete applications for licences will not be accepted by the Authority.
The Council is bound by rules of confidentiality and will not divulge information obtained to any third parties. Applicants for a CRB disclosure are sent the disclosure report to their home address, while the Council will also receive a copy of the report. Information arising from disclosures will be retained and destroyed in accordance with the CRB’s Codes of Practice. Applicants renewing a driver’s licence before expiry will be granted a driver’s licence if the CRB disclosure has not been issued in time. It should be noted that if any relevant information is later disclosed by applicants CRB or random CRB then the Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver’s Licence may be suspended or revoked.
188.8.131.52 Notable Occupations Scheme Policy Under this Scheme, when an individual comes to the notice of the Police and identifies their occupation as a taxi or PHV driver, the Police are requested to notify the appropriate Local Licensing Authority of convictions and any other relevant information that indicates that a person poses a risk to public safety. Most notifications will be made once an individual is convicted, however, if it is considered that sufficient risk exists, the Police will notify the Authority immediately. 6.7
Immigration checks Policy
The DfT considers it appropriate for Licensing Authorities to check up on an applicant’s eligibility/right to work before granting a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver’s licence.
The Authority will only grant a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence to those who have the right to work within the UK. Drivers will be required to provide evidence to the Authority regarding their immigration status. Those drivers who have a right to work within the UK but have lost evidence of this will be required to obtain written approval from the Home Office. (Evidence and Enquiry Unit, Floor 12, Lunar House, Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY Tel: 020 8196 3011). 16
If an applicant applies for a licence and does not have the right to work within the United Kingdom, their details may be passed to the Border and Immigration Agency. Private Hire Operators must also take responsibility to make sure that the drivers they employ have the right to work within the United Kingdom. Further details can be found on www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/employingmigrants
Relevance of Convictions and Cautions
The DfT Guidance recommends that in considering an individual's criminal record, Authorities must be encouraged to consider each case on its merits, but to take a particularly cautious view of any offences involving violence, and sexual attack. It is recommended that Authorities have a clear Policy for the consideration of criminal records. Policies must address: • • •
The type of offence Number of offences, and The number of elapsed years since the offence.
Such Policies should cover applications from drivers outside of the United Kingdom for example, by requiring a Certificate of Good Conduct authenticated by the relevant Embassy. 6.8.2
In relation to the consideration of convictions and cautions recorded against persons the Council has adopted the Policy set out in Appendix E.
In assessing whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence, the Council will consider each case on its merits. It will take account of cautions and convictions, whether spent or unspent. Upon receipt of a licence application, the Licensing Officer will assess from the information provided, in accordance with the Licensing Policy, whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
In relation to cautions, the Council will have regard to the nature and age of the offence.
In relation to previous convictions, the Council will have regard to the following: • • • • •
whether the convictions are spent or unspent the nature of the offences the age of the offences whether the offences are relevant relevant duplicate convictions of a similar kind.
Guidance in relation to specific offences is given in Appendix E. In general terms, if the offence is recent and relevant to public safety, the application is less likely to be granted.
Initial consideration of applications will be undertaken by the Licensing Officer. In those cases where offences are relevant and unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, a decision will be delegated to Head of Service. Relevant offences that are already spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, or if it is the view of the Licensing Officer based on any other information that the applicant is not “fit and proper”, the application will then be determined by the Licensing Sub-Committee. A refusal to grant or suspend the licence may be appealed under the Public Health Acts 1875 to 1925 at a Magistrates’ Court.
A mandate for the release of information under the data subject access provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984, Section 21 (1) and (2), from the DVLA will be required for every application. 17
Driver Application Procedure
6.10.1 An application for a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver’s licence must be made on the specified form. 6.10.2 The Licensing Authority will send a reminder letter to drivers, though it should be noted that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that renewal applications are undertaken in time. 6.10.3 To allow sufficient time for documents to be processed, applicants should ensure that the Licensing Authority receives their complete application, including the fee and any oher necessary monies eg CRB, at least two days before the expiry date of a vehicle licence, and at least two weeks before expiry date of a driver’s licence. A licence cannot be renewed following its expiry and in such cases, the applicant will be treated as being a new applicant. 6.11
The Consideration of Driver Applications
6.11.1 The Council will consider each application on its own merits and in accordance with the Licensing Policy once the appropriate tests have been undertaken and the application form and supporting documents are complete. The relevant elements of the proposed procedure to consider the merits of applications are set out in Appendix C. 6.11.2 The standards expected of licensed drivers are set out in a Code of Good Conduct (Appendix A) which should be read in conjunction with the other statutory and Policy requirements set out in this document. Applicants for licences shall be required to sign a declaration to confirm their understanding and acceptance of the code at their next renewal date, should a licence be issued. 6.12
Grant and Renewal of Driver Licence
6.12.1 The DfT Guidance recognises that it is not necessarily good practice to require licences to be renewed annually. It sees this requirement as imposing an undue burden on drivers and Licensing Authorities alike. Three years is the legal maximum period allowed for a licence and is general considered to be the best option. 6.12.2 The Licensing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers is governed by Section 53 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. This provides that these licences shall remain in force for up to three years from the date of such licence or for such lesser period as may be determined. 6.12.3 The Council recognises the DfT Guidance and could introduce a three year licence, but such would only come into force upon the Authority introducing a fee at a level for such a licence. The Authority will continue to issue a one year Private Hire driver’s licence or a Dual Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire driver’s licence to existing licence holders until such time as the driver requires a CRB check and then only a three year licence would be granted. (Existing drivers may if they wish apply for a three year licence but will be required to submit and pay for a fresh CRB check to be undertaken). 6.12.4 The DVLA will be contacted to check the applicant’s driving licence for motoring offences. In having a regime which allows for a DVLA check to be undertaken on drivers every three years, the Authority additionally has a system of carrying out random DVLA checks on drivers the cost of which will be met through a small increase in licence fees.
PRIVATE HIRE OPERATORS
Requirements and Obligations
Any person who operates a Private Hire service using Private Hire vehicles must apply to the Council for a Private Hire Operator’s licence.
An Operator’s licence permits the operator to make provision for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for a vehicle. A Private Hire operator must ensure that every Private Hire vehicle is driven by a person who holds a Private Hire driver’s licence.
An application for an Operator’s Licence must be made on the prescribed form, together with the appropriate fee.
Criminal Record Check Policy Private Hire operators are not except from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, so standard or enhanced disclosures can be required. A basic disclosure from the Disclosure Scotland or a standard disclosure from the CRB or a certificate of good conduct from the relevant embassy for overseas applicants will be required for new operators. A Criminal Record Check will be required every 3 years. Operators that hold either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver’s licence with the Authority will not be required to undertake a CRB check.
Conditions The Authority has the power to impose such conditions on an Operator’s licence, as it considers reasonably necessary.
Record Keeping Policy
Sections 56(2) and (3) of the 1976 Act place a duty on a Private Hire Operator to maintain records. However, it is for the Council to decide what records are required in relation to journeys that are booked.
Operators are required to keep records in respect of all bookings, vehicles and drivers, for a period of one year as defined in the Private Hire Operator’s Conditions of Licence in Appendix A.
It is considered appropriate for the Licensing Authority to check that appropriate public liability insurance has been taken out for premises that are open to the public.
Before an application for a Private Hire Operator’s Licence is granted, the applicant must take out the appropriate public liability insurance for the premises from which he/she is to be licensed.
The conditions proposed for a Private Hire Operator’s licence, will require that the Operator produces an appropriate certificate of motor insurance which covers every Private Hire vehicle they operate.
Licence Duration Policy
The DfT considers that annual licence renewal is not necessary or appropriate for Private Hire Operators, whose involvement with the public is less direct than that of a driver. 19
They recommend, as good practice, that a licence period of five years would be reasonable. 7.6.2.
It is considered that five years is a long time in the context of the life of a business of this type. This Authority will issue operators licences every year. Operators are persons of trust and, the wider interests of Public safety.
Applicants for renewal of such licences are required to provide a current basic criminal record check from the Criminal Records Bureau every third year.
Holders of existing licences will normally be reminded of the need to renew three months before the licence is due to expiry.
Address from Which an Operator May Operate
Upon grant of an Operator’s Licence, the Authority will specify the address from which the operator may operate. This will be the premises where the records referred to in Paragraph 7.4 above are to be kept and at which they may be inspected by authorised Officers and Constables.
The Operator must notify the Authority in writing of any change of address during the period of the licence within seven days.
It is the responsibility of the Operator to ensure that appropriate planning consent exists for the use of the address which is to be used for operating the business. It should be noted that the grant of a Private Hire Operator’s Licence will not imply that planning consent has been given.
Bases Outside Newport City Council Area
The Authority will not grant an Operator’s Licence to an Operator with an operating base that is located outside the district of Newport. This is to ensure that proper regulation and enforcement measures can be taken and is in no way intended to be a restraint on trade.
VEHICLE SPECIFICATION, SCHEDULE OF CONDITIONS AND CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LICENSED DRIVERS AND OPERATORS Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976-Part II
Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence Conditions A Hackney Carriage proprietor is an owner or part owner of a vehicle, or where a vehicle is subject to leasing contract, hiring agreement or hire purchase, a proprietor is the person in possession of the vehicle under the agreement. In all such cases the proprietor requires a Hackney Carriage Proprietor’s Licence from Newport City Council, before they are legally entitled to use the vehicle to ply for hire. Licences can be obtained by making a full application to the Council. Each applicant must submit an application in respect of every vehicle for which a licence is required. SPECIFICATION 1. The Pproprietor shall ensure that the vehicle and all its fittings and equipment shall at all times when the vehicle is in use or available for hire be kept in an effcient, safe, tidy and clean condition and that all relevant statutory requirements (including in particular those contained in Motor Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations) shall be fully complied with. a) The vehicle shall have no evident signs of previous significant accident damage. The paint work shall be of a professional finish over the whole of the vehicle’s bodywork. b) The bodywork shall have no significant signs of corrosion. Corrosion includes visible rust and signs of rust by virtue of the paintwork being blistered. c) Bodywork damage cannot be patched up or fixed with ‘Gaffer Tape’ etc. ( Though the quarter light windows can be affixed by Gaffer Tape in the interest of prevention of crime and Wing Mirrors can be taped if the mirror has been vandalised, though the mirror should be fixed before any future council tests.) d) All parts of the passenger compartment shall be kept clean and free of any damage, which may otherwise affect its suitability for the carriage of passengers. e) Where seat covers are used they shall be properly affixed to the seat so as not to become loose during use. They shall be kept clean and devoid of damage of any kind. f)
A working heating and ventilation system shall be provided within the Hackney Carriage.
g) A window on either side of the passenger compartment shall be capable of being opened easily by passengers and/or by the driver. 2. No material alteration or change to the specification, design, condition or appearance of the vehicle shall be made without the prior approval of the Head of Public Protection and Environmental Services.
TYPE OF VEHICLE The vehicle must be a purpose built fully wheelchair accessible vehicle. The vehicle must be safely accessible to a disabled person in their wheelchair and must be able to carry the person in safety and in reasonable comfort while remaining in their wheelchair. The vehicle must comply with British and European Vehicle Regulations, be type approved to the standard of M1 whole-vehicle or M1 (Low Volume) category and be unaltered since the type-approval was obtained. Wheelchairs can either access the vehicle from the side or from the rear of the vehicle. The wheelchair must be secured within the vehicle at all times and in accordance with the Vehicles Manufacture Guidelines. PLATE, SIGNS, ADVERTISING, AND LIVERY
Vehicles shall at all times display the external plate and internal disc WHICH IS supplied with this licence by the Council. The plate must be securely attached to the vehicle with the use of a plate bracket provided by the Council or screwed to the rear of the vehicle (magnetic or self adhesive securing of the plate is not permitted). The only exception for not displaying the plate on the bracket is when the bracket breaches the Road Traffic Act or if the vehicle precludes the use of the bracket; in this case proprietors must contact the Licensing Team in order to obtain an exemption from having to display a plate bracket.
Display the Council licence disc at the top left hand corner of the inside front windscreen ensuring that the licence details thereon are visible from both inside and outside the vehicle and in such a way as not to obscure visibility in anyway. . The inside disc should display the plate number and expiry date.
The vehicle must display authorised Council Door Stickers on the front driver’s and passenger’s door. No signs, notices, symbols or emblems should be displayed in or on the vehicle without the prior approval of the Head of Service. However a sign can be attached to the rear passenger doors: this sign must be no longer than 80cm x 50 cm and should only be used by highlight the Company/Operator for whom the vehicle working for.
The Vehicle must be in BLACK in colour or a colour approved by the Council. CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES
The Proprietor shall, within fourteen days, notify the Council, in writing, of any conviction or pending convictions imposed on him / her during the period of this licence.
The Proprietor shall, within fourteen days, notify the Council in writing of all changes in circumstances affecting this licence, such as: change of address, phone number, taxi operator for whom he/she is working, owner of the vehicle, change of insurance company etc.
The Proprietor should inform the Licensing Authority within 4 working days and in writing of any accident or damage to the vehicle. RETURN OF PLATE
The Hackney Carriage Licence plate and disc, supplied with this licence, is the property of Newport City Council. The plate should be returned within 14 days after expiry; failure to do so will result in loss of the plate deposit and may result in other action being taken.
The Proprietor shall ensure that a copy of the Insurance Policy or Cover Note is carried in the vehicle at all times. The proprietor shall not use the vehicle, nor permit it to be used, as a Hackney Carriage vehicle when there is not in force for the vehicle an appropriate Policy of Insurance, or such security as complies with the requirements of Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The Proprietor shall produce when requested the vehicle registration document, a valid MOT Certificate and shall ensure that the vehicle displays a valid vehicle excise licence. SEATING PLAN & LUGGAGE COMPARTMENT
Each passenger shall have direct access to a door without the need to remove or completely fold flat other seating.. Where passengers do not have direct access to a door vehicles that have seats that “tilt” forward by a single operation will be permitted by the Council. A clear sign within the vehicle should clearly indicate the location of the handle that operates the tilt forward seat.
Hackney Carriages that wish to use the passenger seat for a paying passenger or for gain must have CCTV present in the vehicle and be approved by the Council; separate guidance will be available for proprietors.
The vehicle must be capable of carrying not less than four passengers and no more than eight.
The vehicle must have a boot or luggage compartment which provides sufficient space to carry a reasonable amount of luggage.
Each passenger seat shall be fitted with a seat belt. No seats may be side facing, other than a wheelchair that has been correctly secured in the vehicle, in accordance with vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines.
The vehicle should not carry children in pushchairs; the pushchair should be folded up and stored. If the vehicle does not have the correct child restraint then the child should be placed on the rear seat only. Children under 3 years old may travel unrestrained. Children aged 3 years old or over must use an adult seat belt as in accordance with Road Traffic Act. (Further details can be found on http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/children/childincar?page=Advice&whoareyou_id= ) ALTERATION OF VEHICLE
No alteration to the manufacturer’s specification for the vehicle including a change of or additional fuel type shall be carried out except with the prior written approval of the Council. TINTED WINDOWS
The front windscreen and front windows must have a visible light transmission (VLT) of not less than 75 per cent and all other windows must not be tinted to the extent that passengers can not be seen from outside the vehicle. VEHICLE TESTS
If the vehicle is over three years old at the time of the licence being granted or renewed it will be required to undertake two tests per year falling at the granting of the licence and six months into the vehicles licence.
If a vehicle fails the Council’s vehicle test or a MOT the vehicle should not be used as a Hackney Carriage until such time the vehicle passes the Council test or MOT.
VEHICLE EQUIPMENT 22.
The vehicle must carry the following equipment: a. A spare wheel suitable for immediate use and which is properly maintained. If the spare wheel is of the temporary space saver type, it may only be used to complete the particular journey or hiring the vehicle is engaged on when the wheel change is necessary and vehicles that have certain technology may be exempt from this condition at the discretion of the Council (for example run on flat tyres). b. A jack and tools for changing the wheels. c. A fire extinuisher (All extinguishers should be to British Standard or European Standard - the BSI (British Standard Institute) Kite mark displayed or the European mark BSEN3 (British and European Standard) and should be marked with a date of manufacture. All extinguishers must be either recharged or replaced after five years (most of the extinguishers carried are not rechargeable). All extinguishers should have a seal fitted proving that the extinguisher has not been used. If a pressure gauge is fitted it must indicate that the extinguisher is fully charged and the needle must indicate this on the gauge. All extinguishers should be of a minimum weight of1lb or 0.454 kgs.). d. A ramp, or ramps, for the loading of a wheelchair and passenger must be available at all times for use at the nearside rear passenger door. An adequate locking device shall be fitted to ensure that the ramp(s) do not slip, splay apart or tilt when in use. Provision shall be made for the ramps to be stored safely in the vehicle when not in use. Any auxiliary equipment that is fitted to a vehicle shall not impede the driver in any way, or hinder his/her view, or impede, or cause hazard to passengers or other road users ADVERTISING
Advertisements are only permitted on the interior of purpose built Hackney Carriages on the underside of the tip-up seats and across the bulkhead above the dividing glass partition. The permitted sizes are as follows: • •
bulkhead 60cm x 8 cm tip up seat 33cm x 30.5cm.
No advertisement may be placed on the dividing glass partition other than notices approved by the Council, for example the tariff card. AUDIO, VIDEO & RECORDING SYSTEMS 24.
No audio, video or recording systems which were not installed when the vehicle was manufactured shall be installed or operated in the vehicle without the prior written permission of the Council.
NO SMOKING IN VEHICLE 25.
No smoking is permitted in the vehicle by either the driver or passengers. The vehicle should comply with the “smoke free” regulations as stated in the Health Act 2006. The vehicle must display ‘no-smoking’ signs in a prominent position. The sign should include the international red ‘no smoking’ symbol. (Guidance and signage available from www.smokefreeengland.co.uk )
METERS AND FARES 26.
The vehicle must be fitted with a taxi meter which must comply with the Measuring Instruments (Taximeters) Regulations 2006. The taxi meter shall: a. show the fare recorded on the taxi meter in clearly legible figures, and the word ‘FARE’ shall be clearly displayed so as to apply to such figures; b. the meter should be set in accordance with the Council’s Table contrary of Hackney Carriage fares, unless the Proprietor wishes to have a lower tariff. In this case the Proprietor must dispay the Council Tarriff alongside a Proprietors Tarrif Card. In such circumstances the Proprietors Tarrif Card must clearly state that the Proprietor does not charge the maximum Council taxi rates. A copy of the Proprietor’s Card should be given to the Council for its own records.
The fare tariff must be fixed in such a position so that the fare to be charged is visible to all passengers within the vehicle at all times and the figures shall be illuminated for this purpose. In the case of Hackney Carriage vehicles that have safety shields, the fare tariff should be displayed in the rear compartment of the vehicle.
The Proprietor of the hackney carriage shall ensure that there is a receipt book avaliable in the vehicle at all times and a receipt should be provided at the passenger’s request. LOST PROPERTY
The proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage shall hand in any found lost property to the nearest Police station within 48 hours.
The holder of every Hackney Carriage licence shall comply with the provisions relating to Hackney Carriages contained in the following legislation: • • • •
Town Police Clauses Act 1847 Part II Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Road Traffic Act 1988 Part 11 (a) Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Taxis) (Carrying of Guide Dogs etc.) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000.
THE LICENCE IS SUBJECT TO THE ABOVE ACTS AND PROVISIONS YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF THOSE PROVISIONS WHICH APPLY TO YOU.
PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLES LICENCE CONDITIONS AND PRIVATE HIRE OPERATOR’S CONDITIONS A Private Hire vehicle proprietor is an Owner or part-Owner of a vehicle, or where a vehicle is subject to a hiring agreement or hire purchase, the person in possession of the vehicle under the agreement. A Private Hire vehicle proprietor requires a Private Hire vehicle licence from Newport City Council for each vehicle used for Private Hire. The vehicle can only operate under a Newport City Council Operator’s Licence. Licences can be obtained by making a full application to the Council. Applicant’s must submit an application for every vehicle for which a licence is required. SPECIFICATION 1. The Proprietor shall ensure that the vehicle and all its fittings and equipment and at all times when the vehicle is in use or available for hire kept in an effcient, safe, tidy and clean condition and all relevant statutory requirements (including in particular those contained in Motor Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations) shall be fully complied with.
a) The vehicle shall have no evident signs of previous significant accident damage. The paint work shall be of a professional finish over the whole of the vehicle’s bodywork.
b) The bodywork shall have no significant signs of corrosion. Corrosion includes visible rust and signs of rust by virtue of the paintwork being blistered etc.
c) Bodywork damage can not be patched-up or fixed with ‘Gaffer Tape’ etc. ( Though the quarter light windows can be affixed by Gaffer Tape in the interest of prevention of crime and Wing Mirrors can be taped if the mirror has been vandalised, though the mirror should be fixed before any future council tests.)
d) All parts of the passenger compartment shall be kept clean and free of any damage, which may otherwise affect its suitability for the carriage of passengers.
e) Where seat covers are used they shall be properly affixed to the seat so as not to become loose during use. They shall be kept clean and devoid of damage of any kind.
f) An adequate heating and ventilation system shall be provided for the driver and the passengers alike.
g) A window on either side of the passenger compartment shall be capable of being opened easily by passengers when seated. 2. No material alteration or change to the specification, design, condition or appearance of the vehicle shall be made without prior approval of the Head of Service. 3. The vehicle must comply with British and European Vehicle Regulations, be type approved to the standard of M1 Whole-Vehicle or M1 (Low volume) category and be unaltered since, it received type-approval. 4. Private Hire vehicle can be any colour unless the vehicle is a “Purposed Built” vehicle; these types of vehicles are not permitted to be black / dark blue / dark grey or any other colour that could be confused with ‘black’.
PLATES, SIGNS, ADVERTISING AND LIVERY 5. The Private Hire Vehicle Licence plate must be displayed externally, adjacent to the rear bumper and securely attached to the vehicle with the use of a plate bracket provided by the Council. The only exception for not displaying the plate is when the bracket breaches the Road Traffic Act. In this case proprietors must contact the Licensing Team to seek exemption from having to display a bracket. 6. The licence disc must be displayed at the top left hand corner of the inside front windscreen in such a way as not to obscure the driver’s visibility ensuring that the licence details thereon are visible from both inside and outside the vehicle. 7. The vehicle must display authorised Council door stickers on the driver’s and the front passenger doors. (The only exception is: Private Hire Vehicles that are used in connection with a weddings and a funeral are permitted to cover up the Council Door stickers with a magnetic cover and no other advertising is permitted on the vehicle including company logos) 8. No signs, notices, symbols or emblems shall be displayed in or on the vehicle without the approval of the Head of Public Protection and Environmental Services. However, a sign can be attached to the rear passengers’ doors: this sign must be no larger than 80cm x 50cm and should only be used to highlight the operator for whom the vehicle is working. CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES 9. The Proprietor shall, within fourteen days, notify the Council, in writing, of any conviction or caution imposed on him/her during the period of this licence. 10. The Proprietor shall, within fourteen days, notify the Council, in writing, of all changes in circumstances affecting this licence, such as change of address or change of Private Hire Operator etc. 11. The Proprietor should inform the Licensing Authority within 4 working days and in writing of any accident or damage to the vehicle. RETURN OF PLATE 12. The Private Hire Licence plate and disc supplied with the licence is the property of Newport City Council. The plate should be returned within 7 days after expiry. Failure to do so will result in loss of the plate deposit and could result in other action being taken. INSURANCE 13. The Proprietor shall ensure that a copy of the Insurance Policy or Cover Note is carried in the vehicle at all times. The proprietor shall not use the vehicle, nor permit it to be used, as a Hackney Carriage vehicle when there is not in force for the vehicle a Policy of Insurance, or such security as complies with the requirements of Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1988, covering the use of the vehicle to carry passengers for hire or reward. The proprietor shall produce when requested the vehicle registration document, a valid MOT certificate and shall ensure that the vehicle displays a valid vehicle excise licence. SEATING PLAN AND LUGGAGE COMPARTMENT 14. Each passenger shall have direct access to a door without the need to remove or completely fold flat other seating. Where passengers do not have direct access to an adjacent door, vehicles that have seats that “tilt” forward by a single operation will be permitted by the Council. A clear sign within the vehicle should clearly indicate the location of the handle that operates the tilt forward seat. 15. The vehicle must be capable of carrying not fewer than four passengers and no more than eight. 27
16. The vehicle must have a boot or luggage compartment which provides sufficient space to carry a reasonable amount of luggage. 17.
Each passenger seat shall be fitted with a seat belt. No seats may be side facing, other than a wheelchair that has been correctly secured in the vehicle and in accordance with vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines.
The vehicle should not carry children in pushchairs; the pushchair should be folded up and stored. If the vehicle does not have the correct child restraint then the child should be placed on the rear seat only, children under 3 years old may travel unrestrained. Children aged 3 years old or over must use an adult seat belt as in accordance with Road Traffic Act. (Further details can be found on http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/children/childincar?page=Advice&whoareyou_id= ) ALTERATION OF VEHICLE
No alteration to the manufacturer’s specification for the vehicle including a change of or additional fuel type shall be carried out except with the prior written approval of the Council. TINTED WINDOWS
The front windscreen and front windows must have a visible light transmission (VLT) of not less than 75% and all other windows must not be tinted to the extent that the passengers cannot be seen from the outside of the vehicle. Only vehicle manufacture tints are permitted on the vehicle. VEHICLE TESTS
If the vehicle is over three years old from date of manufacture or first licensing, whichever the earlier at the time of the licence being granted or renewed it will be required to undertake two plating tests per year falling at the granting of the licence and six months into the vehicles licence.
If a vehicle fails a Council Vehicle Plating Test or a MOT the vehicle should not be used as a Private Hire Vehicle until such time the vehicle passes the Council test or MOT. VEHICLE EQUIPMENT
The vehicle must carry the following equipment: a. a spare wheel suitable for immediate use and which is properly maintained. If the spare wheel is of the temporary space-saver type, it may only be used to complete the particular journey or hiring the vehicle is engaged on when the wheel change is necessary. Vehicles that have certain technology may be exempt from this condition at the discretion of the Council. b. a jack and tools for changing the wheels. c. a torch. d. a fire extinuisher (All extinguishers must be to British Standard or European Standard - the BSI (British Standard Institute) Kite mark displayed or the European mark BSEN3 (British and European Standard) and should be marked with a date of manufacture. All extinguishers must either recharge or replaced after five years, (most of the extinguishers carried are not rechargeable). All extinguishers should have a seal fitted proving that the extinguisher has not been used. If a pressure gauge is fitted it must indicate that the extinguisher is fully charged and the needle must indicate this on the gauge. All extinguishers should be of a minimum weight of 1lb. or 0.454 kgs.) 28
e. any auxiliary equipment that is fitted to a vehicle shall not impede the driver in any way, or hinder his/her view, or impede, or cause hazard to passengers or other road users. f.
re: purpose built wheel chain accessible to Private Hire Vehicles AUDIO, VIDEO OR SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS
No audio, video or recording systems which were not installed when the vehicle was manufactured shall be installed or operated in the vehicle without the prior written permission of the Council. CCTV if installed in the vehicle must be on at all times when a passangers are in the vehicle. NO SMOKING IN VEHICLES
No smoking is permitted in the vehicle by either the driver or passengers. The vehicle should comply with the “smoke free” regulations as stated in the Health Act 2006. METERS AND FARES
The vehicle is not required to have a meter but if a meter is installed it must comply with the The Measuring Instruments (Taximeters) Regulations 2006. The meter shall: a) show the fare recorded on the taxi meter in clearly legible figures, and the word ‘FARE’ shall be clearly displayed so as to apply to such figures; b) the meter should be set in accordance with the Operators’ Tariff Card.
The fare card must be fixed in such a position in order that the fare to be charged is clearly visible to all passengers within the vehicle at all times, and the figures shall be illuminated for this purpose.
The Proprietor of the Private Hire Vehicle must ensure that he/she has a receipt book avaliable in the vehicle at all times and a receipt should be provided at the passenger’s request. LOST PROPERTY
The Proprietor or Driver of a Private Hire Vehicle shall hand in any ‘lost property’ found with the veichle to the nearest Police Station within 48 hours. LEGISLTION
The holder of every Private Hire licence shall comply with the provisions relating to Private Hire Vehicle contained in the following legislation: •
Town Police Clauses Act 1847;
Part II Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 ; Road Traffic Act 1988 Part 11 (a) Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment;
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Taxis) (Carrying of Guide Dogs etc.) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000;
THE LICENCE IS SUBJECT TO THE ABOVE ACTS AND PROVISIONS YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF THOSE PROVISIONS WHICH APPLY TO YOU. 29
PRIVATE HIRE OPERATOR’S CONDITIONS 1.
The holder of a Private Hire operator’s licence shall comply with the provisions of Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
The Operator shall: a. Provide a prompt, efficent and reliable service to members of the public at all reasonable times. b. Ensure that his/her Office Staff behave in a civil and orderly manner at all times c. Ensure that when a vehicle has been hired it arrives punctually at the appointed place, unless delayed by unforeseen circumstances. d. Ensure that premise provided for the purpose of hiring or waiting are kept clean, adequately lit, heated and ventilated. e. Ensure that any ‘Waiting Area’ provided has adequate seating facilitites and, if such are provided, that any telephone facilities are in good working order. f.
The Operator shall notify the Authority in writing of any change affecting this licence, including any change of address (including any address from which he/she operates or otherwise conducts his/her business), which takes place during the currency of the licence. Such notice shall be given, in writing, within 14 days of the change to the Licensing Section.
g. The Operator shall within 14 days notify the Authority in writing of any conviction. If the operator is a company or partnership, this requirement shall apply if any of its Directors or Partners receives a conviction or fixed penalty notice. h. The Operator shall ensure that a certificate of motor insurance covers every private hire vehicle operated by him/her under the licence, which is compliant with the Road Traffic Act 1988 as regards the carriage of passengers for hire or reward. i.
If the Operator has premises to which the public have access in connection with the hiring of vehicles, he shall ensure that there is sufficient public liability insurance in force, which indemnifies him/her agaist any claim for loss, damage or personal injury by any person using those premises.
To operate a Private Hire Business from a residential dwelling, planning permission for such buisiness use, will normally be required. A Private Hire Operator’s licence will not be granted without evidence that either planning permission has been issued in respect of the premises concerned or planning permission is not required in respect of the limited usewhich is proposed. for the limited use proposed.
k. The records required to be kept by the operator under Section 52(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 shall be kept in a suitable book or on a computer or any other recordable device. The records must be kept for twelve months. If a book is used, the pages must be numbered consecutively and the operator shall enter or cause to be entered before commencement of each journey, the following particulars of every booking accepted: i. the time and date of the booking ii. the name of the hirer iii. the time of the proposed pick up iv. the point of pick up and drop off v. the registration or plate number of the vehicle allocated for the booking and the name of the driver. vi. The details of any booking sub contracted to another Newport licensed operator or Hackney carriage in the district. 30
The Operator shall also keep records of the particulars of all Private Hire vehicles and drivers operated by him, which shall include a copy of the private hire vehicle licence issued by the Council and a copy of the Private Hire drivers licence or badeg issued by the Council together with details of any radio call signals used by the Drivers. All records kept by the operator shall be kept for a period of not less than twelve months following the date of the entry and shall be made available upon request to an authorised Officer of the Council, Police Officer or any other relevent duly authorised Officer of an Enforcement Agency.
LEGISLATION 2. The holder of every Private Hire Operator vehicle licence shall comply with the provisions relating to Private Hire vehicles contained in the following legislation: • • • • NB:
Town Police Clauses Act 1847 Part II Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Road Traffic Act 1988 Part 11 (a) Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Taxis) (Carrying of Guide Dogs etc.) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000.
THE LICENCE IS SUBJECT TO THE ABOVE ACTS AND PROVISIONS YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF THOSE PROVISIONS WHICH APPLY TO YOU.
POLICY ON SPECIAL EVENT VEHICLE: IINCLUDING LIMOUSINES & PRESTIGE TYPE VEHICLES This element of the Policy only applies to Private Hire vehicles. 1.
For the purpose of this Policy, a ‘special event vehicle’ shall mean a vehicle that is used for a particular occasion or occasions of a restricted nature e.g. transport to parties and is not a conventional vehicle used for standard Private Hire work.
Examples of vehicles that may fall within the ‘Special Event’ category are stretch limousines, classic cars or a vehicle that has fewer than four seats. Proprietors of prestige type vehicles licensed as private hire vehicles or private hire vehicles used in special circumstances may seek the permission of the Authority to waive conditions of their licence relating to the display of licence plates, door stickers and driver badges.
This element of the Policy does not apply in relation to vehicles which are used exclusively in connection with weddings and funerals as such are exempt from Private Hire Licensing.
The General Licence Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles will not normally allow for special event vehicles to be licensed for a number of reasons including the style and design of the vehicle.
Any special event vehicle that has not been type approved, which does not meet the requirements of the Construction and Use Regulations or which otherwise would not meet the standard Private Hire vehicle conditions may apply to be licensed by seeking a variation or exemption from some of the standard conditions which would otherwise apply..
Each vehicle will be considered and assessed on its merit taking account of: • • •
the overall condition of the vehicle the number of passengers for which it is required to be licensed and The specific criteria from which an exemption is sought.
The Councils primary consideration will always be the safety and comfort of the travelling public LIMOUSINE CONDITIONS The following set of conditions will be attached to all stretched limousines: 1.
Limousines are permitted to be Left or Right Hand Drive.
The majority of stretched limousines are imported from the U.S. and are left hand drive. The Department for Transport has recommended that Councils should not refuse to licence limousines simply because they have characteristics which contravene their existing Policy, i.e. left hand drive. Limousines with sideways facing seating will be permitted.
A main characteristic of stretched limousines is their sideways facing bench seats. In line with the Department for Transport’s guidance outlined above, the Council will consider the suitability of limousines with sideways seating for Licensing. The vehicle must have a seat belt available for every travelling passenger.
Limousines will not be required to display any Council livery but will be required to display the Councils private hire plate. (The plate serves to distinguish Private Hire Vehicles from ordinary saloon cars and Hackney Carriage vehicles and to make them clearly identifiable to the public. However, the naturally distinctive appearance of stretched limousines means that they are very unlikely to be confused with a Hackney Carriage or a private-use vehicle).
Limousines with heavily tinted glass in the rear offside/nearside windows will be considered for Licensing. However, heavily tinted glass in the driver cockpit would remain prohibited in 32
line with legal requirements. It is recognised that the privacy provided by tinted glass in the passenger compartment is a central characteristic of a limousine. However, glass in the driver cockpit must satisfy the standards within the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 as amended. 6.
Limousines will be required to hold a valid Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) Certificate or an IVA certificate. (The SVA or IVA test comprises a visual examination of a vehicle and certifies its safety and roadworthiness).
The limousine must be fitted with tyres that meet with both the size and weight specification. (Given the increased weight of the vehicle, tyres of the correct weight and size rating must be used at all times).
Any seats in the driver’s compartment shall not be used to carry passengers. (This is to ensure that passengers are not carried in the front of the vehicle in order to improve driver and passenger safety)
In any advertisement publicising any limousine service, the Operator must state that the vehicle is only licensed to carry up to a minimum of 8 passengers. This is order to inform customers of the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle).
Alcoholic drinks provided in the vehicle shall be under the terms of an appropriate licence issued under the Licensing Act 2003 which relates to the sale and supply of alcohol In order to comply with alcohol licensing requirements and safeguard public safety bottles of alcohol shall be placed in a secure place and should be removed when any passenger is under 18 years old. Any glassware in the vehicle must be made of either shatterproof glass or plastic, (safeguard public safety).
The driver shall not play or permit the performance of any media that, given its age classification or content, is unsuitable for the age of the passengers in the vehicle. (This is in order to safeguard child passengers from viewing unsuitable material).
If the limousine parks to provide some form of regulated entertainment for its passengers, a licence must be in place in accordance with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.
Any vehicle that has been constructed or adapted to seat more than eight passengers cannot be licensed as a Private Hire vehicle.
Due to the individual nature of a Limousine vehicle it will inevitably give rise to issues that would not apply to conventional Private Hire Vehicles and, therefore, it will be necessary to consider whether special conditions should be included on any licence. The Licensing Officer will determine any such additional special conditions. If the proprietor is not satisfied with the proposed conditions, the matter will be heard and determined by the Licensing Sub Committee.
“PRESTIGE” TYPE VEHICLES 15.
Prestige Vehicles that wish to be exempt from the requirements that they be plated and display side stickers will have to comply with all Private Hire Conditions other than Conditions 5, 27, 35 and 36 plus the following conditions.
No cash work can be undertaken by the vehicle unless the vehicle is booked at least 12 hours before the commencement of the journey or the operator has a contract with particular business or person.
No meter is permitted in the vehicle.
The vehicle generally should not be over 5 years old from the date of manufacture or first registration in the UK, whichever earlier. Though older vehicles will be considered by the Principal Licensing this will permit older vintage cars or vehicles that could be described as in “A1” condition.
Vehicle must be of a standard of comfort and be equipped to a level equal to or above that of luxury model vehicles such as Mercedes Benz E or S Class, BMW 5 and 7 Series, Lexus GS or LS, Audi A8, Range Roger, Jaguar XJ etc (The higher specification executive-type saloon and MPV cars from other manufactures may also be considered)
The vehicle must carry the licence plate in the rear or boot of the vehicle at all times and a copy of the plate and side sticker exemption letter should be kept in the vehicle at all times. In order to be such must be available for inspection by an Authorised Officer at all times.
No advertising is permitted on or in the vehicle.
The individual nature of a special event vehicle will inevitably give rise to issues that would not apply to conventional Private Hire Vehicles and, therefore, it will be necessary to consider whether any special conditions should be included on a licence. The Licensing Officer will determine any such special conditions. If the proprietor is not satisfied with the proposed conditions, the matter will be heard and determined by the Licensing Sub Committee.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976 – PART II PRIVATE HIRE DRIVER’S LICENCE – CONDITIONS OF LICENCE 1. A driver shall at all times maintain ‘a high standard of appearance and behaviour’, afford assistance with passengers ‘luggage’ and take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of passengers 2. A driver shall not operate a radio in the vehicle so as to interfere with the comfort of passengers, nor without the express consent of the hirer shall he/she eat or drink in the vehicle. 3. A driver shall not convey a greater number of persons than specified in the Licence of the vehicle he/she is using, provided that for this purpose children under the age of ten may be conveyed in the rear passenger compartment. No child under the age of ten, or more than one person over that age may be conveyed in the front of the vehicle. The driver shall not allow any person other than the Hirer to ride in the vehicle when it is on hire, without the Hirer’s consent. 4. Property accidentally left in a Private Hire vehicle must be reported to the operator and the Police within a 24 hour period. 5. The driver shall upon request provide the hirer with a written receipt for the fare paid. 6. The driver shall convey no animal except when it is in the custody of the hirer and in this case the animal must be conveyed in the rear of the vehicle. 7. The driver shall make all attempts to arrive punctually at the time and place specified by the Hirer. 8. A copy of these conditions shall be kept available in the Private Hire Office for inspection by any passenger upon request. 9. A driver shall not demand of the hirer a sum in excess of that agreed between the hirer and the Operator. If the vehicle is fitted with a taximeter which is used to determine the fare, which is to be changed in respect of the Hirer’s journey then the driver shall give the hirer the opportunity to examine the fare shown on the taximeter at the termination of the journey. 10. The driver shall notify the Council of all changes in his personal circumstances or relating to this licence, such as convictions or changes of address within fourteen days. 11. The driver should have no sexually contact or be sexually explicate either physically or verbally towards passengers they are transporting. Legislation The holder of a Private Hire Driver’s Licence shall comply with the provisions relating to Private Hire vehicles contained in the following legislation: • • • • • NB
Town Police Clauses Act 1847 Part II Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Road Traffic Act 1988 Part 11(a) Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Taxis) (Carrying of Guide Dogs etc.) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000. Smoking Legislation
THIS LICENCE IS ALSO SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 19767, PART II. YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF THOSE PROVISIONS THAT APPLY TO YOU.
CODE OF GOOD CONDUCT FOR HACKNEY CARRIAGE AND PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS This Code should be read in conjunction with the other statutory and Policy requirements set out in this document, it should be noted theses are not conditions. 1.
Responsibility to the Trade: Licence holders shall endeavour to promote the image of the hackney carriage and private hire trades by: • Complying with this Code of Good Conduct; • Complying with all the Conditions of their Licence, Byelaws and the Authority’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy; • Behaving in a civil, orderly and responsible manner at all times.
Responsibility to Clients: Licence holders shall: • • • • • •
Maintain their vehicles in a safe and satisfactory condition at all times; keep their vehicles clean and suitable for hire to the public at all times; Attend punctually when undertaking pre-booked fares; Assist, passengers into and out of vehicle where necessary Provide passengers reasonable assistance with luggage. The drivers should have no sexual contact with or be sexually explicate either physically or verbally towards any passenger that they are transporting Responsibility to Residents: To avoid nuisance to residents when picking up or waiting for a fare a driver shall: • • • •
not sound the vehicle’s horn illegally (between 11:30 p.m. or from a stationary vehicle); keep the volume of music media player or VHF radio to a minimum switch-off the vehicle’s engine if required to wait; Take whatever additional action is necessary to avoid causing disturbance to residents in the neighbourhood.
Responsibilities at Ranks and Offices Licence holders shall: • • •
Rank in an orderly manner and proceed along the rank promptly Remain in attendance of the vehicle Not allow their music media players or radios to cause disturbance to residents neighbourhood.
General Drivers shall: • • • • • •
attend to their personal hygiene and dress so as to present a professional image to the public. be polite, helpful and fair to passengers drive with care and due consideration for other road users and pedestrians obey all traffic regulation orders and directions at all time not eat in the vehicle in the presence of customers; and respect authorised Officers during the execution of normal course of their normal duties. 36
Newport City Council Private Hire Livery
Newport City Council Hackney Carriage Livery
CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATIONS 1. Upon receipt of a full and complete application form, an Officer from the Licensing Team will consider the application. Where the application is incomplete, it will not be considered until the missing details or documents are supplied. Depending on the circumstances, all or some of the application papers may be returned along with any fee provided. 2. For all applications in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licences, Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicle licences and Private Hire Operator Licences, the Licensing Officer has the delegated power to grant the application. 3. Successful applicants will be notified in writing and issued with the appropriate licence. Those who are granted a driver’s licence shall be issued with a badge, which shall remain the property of the Council and must be surrendered when the driver ceases employment. 4. Hackney Carriage Driver Licences must be retained by the driver’s employer until that employment ceases when it will be returned to the driver to pass to any new employer. Where the Licensing Officer is not satisfied that the applicant should be granted a licence because of an unspent conviction the Officer will refuse the application under the scheme of delegated functions to Officers. If the Officer decides the applicant is not fit and proper due to other factors the application will be referred to the Licensing SubCommittee. 5. All matters, whether spent or unspent, may now be considered as being relevant as to whether a driver is ‘fit and proper’. 6. If he or she is called to attend before the Sub Committee, the applicant will be advised of the date, time and venue of the Committee Hearing. The proceedings and terms of reference of the Sub-Committee are in a separately published procedure.
THE TESTING OF APPLICANTS 1.
Introduction In order to maintain the high standards that the Authority expects of its licensed drivers, new applicants will be required to undertake an assessment of competence. This will take the form of a written test and will contribute towards satisfying the requirement that they be a ‘fit and proper’ person. A pass rate of 50% applies.
Local Geography Applicants will be tested on their knowledge of Newport’s geography, its places of particular relevance by recording the shortest routes between locations in the area.
Highway Code and Arithmetical Skills Applicants will be asked to answer a number of questions regarding driving skills, road information and etiquette as set out in the Highway Code and will also be aksed questions of an arithmetical nature.
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Legislation and Council Rules and Policy Applicants will be tested on their knowledge and understanding of the law and the Council’s Conditions and Policies as it applies to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing.
Disability Issues In view of the special considerations to be made when dealing with passengers of differing physical abilities, it may be necessary to test the awareness of the applicant regarding such issues.
Test Retakes Applicants who fail to achieve an eighty per cent pass rate in the written test shall be invited to take a further and different test upon another occasion. They shall not be considered to be ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence until they have achieved the requisite pass rate. To ensure that all applicants are encouraged to prepare for the above process, a nonreturnable fee will be charged for each test taken.
GUIDELINES RELATING TO RELEVANCE OF PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS. 1.
All applicants for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence must complete an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check prior to the granting of a licence. On completing the form all convictions must be declared. Failure to disclose convictions which are subsequently notified by the Criminal Records Bureau may result in the application being refused or in a licence being revoked. All past convictions will be considered in the light of Home Office Guidelines. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets out the period after which a conviction is regarded as “spent” and which would not normally necessitate disclosure of that conviction. In 2002 the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was amended so as to exclude Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers from the effects of the 1974 Act. Applicants for such licences are now required to disclose all convictions, including those that would previously have been regarded as being spent under the Act. The Licensing Authority will use the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as guidance but in every case the individual facts involved will be considered.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 guidelines will be used by the Authority, but for repeat offenders or for offences that are not stipulated under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 the following guidelines shall be used to determine whether if an applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence:
Minor Traffic Offences Convictions for minor traffic offences* should not prevent a person from proceeding with an application. However, if sufficient penalty points have been accrued to require a period of disqualification of the applicant’s DVLA driving licence then a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver’s licence may be granted after its restoration but a warning will be issued as to future conduct.
Major Traffic Offences A Unspent conviction for a major traffic offence will require that the application be referred to the Licensing Committee. * A major traffic offences is when the Court awards four or more penalty points or disqualification. A minor traffic offence if the court awarded three or less penalty points.
Offences under the Town Police Clauses Act 1947 and Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 One of the main purposes of the Licensing regime set out in the above named Acts is to ensure the protection of the public. For this reason a serious view is taken of convictions for offences under these Acts when deciding whether a person is to be considered as ‘fit and proper’ hold a licence. In particular, an applicant will normally be refused a licence where he or she has been convicted of a Level 3 or above offence under these Acts. The minimum refusal will be for a period of three months to a 1 year or 5 years if the applicant has more than one conviction within five years preceding the date of the application appearance before Committee. A Proprietor or Operator who has been convicted of more than one Level 3 or above offence over a twelve month period could have all his/her relevant licences revoked for a minimum of five years. Those who have committed three or more offences would not be considered for a minimum of ten years but in most cases would be refused a licence for life. 40
For new applicants who have submitted applications but who are suspected of breaching the above named Acts, their applications will be kept on hold pending a full investigation by the Licensing Officer. Applications from those drivers who have had a licence revoked by Newport City Council or by any other Local Authority will not be considered for a minimum of five years. Level 1 and 2 offences will also be treated as serious matter; drivers convicted of an offence will result in the refusal of a licence for the minimum of three months to six months, if the applicant has more than one conviction within a five year period a refusal of five year period. Applications with spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for its consideration. iv.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Offences Convictions for driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drink will be viewed seriously. An isolated spent conviction under the guidelines of The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 may not necessarily prevent an application from being granted but a warning will be given as to future conducts. If an applicant has been convicted of drink driving while being in charge of a licensed vehicle the applicant will be refused a licence until five years after restoration of the DVLA driving licence have elapsed. An unspent conviction for this type of offence may result in the refusal of the application. Applications containing spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for its consideration.
Public Disorder Offences Involving Alcohol An isolated conviction for an alcohol related offence contrary to the Public Order Act need not prevent an applicant from gaining a licence. Applications containing spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for its consideration.
Drugs An applicant with a conviction for a drug related offence will be required to show a period of a least five years free of convictions before an application is entertained. Applications containing spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for its consideration.
Indecency Offences Applicants with convictions for soliciting will be refused a licence until a period of at least five years free of such offences has elapsed. Applicants with convictions for indecent exposure, indecent assault, importuning, or any of the more serious sexual offences will be refused until a minimum period of ten years free of such offences has elapsed. More than one conviction for this kind of offence will mean that no licence will be granted. Applications containing spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for its consideration. It is felt by the Authority that it is not appropriate for drivers to have consensual sex with passengers they do not know personally. This stance is not only to protect Members of the Public but also to protect drivers from any subsequent allegation of sexual assault. Cases of this nature will be referred to Licensing committee to determine if the driver is “fit and proper”. Licensed Drivers are reminded that a licensed vehicle is at all 41
times a licensed vehicle and that they are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a ‘fit and proper’ manner. viii.
Violence As Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers maintain close contact with the public. Applicants, therefore, need to be aware that an application is unlikely to be entertained where the applicant has an unspent conviction for an offence of: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
murder manslaughter manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving arson malicious wounding or grievous bodily harm (s.20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861) which is racially aggravated (s.29(1)(a) Crime and Disorder Act 1998) actual bodily harm (s.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861) which is racially aggravated (s.29(1)(b) Crime and Disorder Act 1998) grievous bodily harm with intent (s.18 Offences Against the Person Act) grievous bodily harm (s.20 Offences Against the Person Act) robbery racially aggravated criminal damage (s.30 Crime and Disorder Act 1998) racially aggravated s.4 Public Order Act 1986 offence (fear or provocation of violence) (s.31(1)(a) Crime and Disorder Act 1998) racially aggravated s.4A Public Order Act 1986 offence (intentional harassment, alarm or distress) (s.31 (1)(b) Crime and Disorder Act 1998) racially aggravated s.2 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 offence (harassment) (s.32(1)(a) Crime and Disorder Act 1998) Racially aggravated s.4 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 offence (putting people in fear of violence) (s.32 (1) (b) Crime and Disorder Act 1998).
Applications containing spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for consideration. Applicants should be aware that an application will not normally be entertained where the applicant has an unspent conviction for an offence of: • • • • • • • • • • • • •
common assault common assault which is racially aggravated (s.29(1)(c) Crime and Disorder Act1998) assault occasioning actual bodily harm (s.47 Offences Against the Person Act)) assaulting a Police Officer affray racially aggravated s.5 Public Order Act 1986 offence (harassment, alarm or distress) (s.31(1)(c) Crime and Disorder Act 1998) riot obstruction possession of an offensive weapon possession of a firearm criminal damage violent disorder Resisting arrest.
Applications containing spent convictions for any of the above will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for consideration.
Theft and Fraud Drivers of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles are expected to be persons of trust. An application will unlikely be entertained where the applicant has an unspent conviction for an offence of theft or fraud. Applications containing spent convictions for either of the above kind of offence will be referred to the Licensing Officer for initial review. The Licensing Officer may refer the application to the Licensing Committee for its consideration.
The Conduct of Drivers Any Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver acting in a disorderly, abusive or violent manner towards any member of the public, other drivers, Police Officer or any Council official (including non Newport City Council officials) will be referred to the Licensing Committee for it to consider the matter of his/her conduct.
Information The date of a Court conviction is to be taken as the rehabilitation start date unless a sentence of imprisonment or corrective training exceeding 30 months was imposed, in which case the period commences from the date of release. The following examples are for guidance only. Each application will be considered on its own merits and it may be that, having regard to the particular circumstances of any application, it would be right to depart from the Policy. Initial consideration of applications will be undertaken by the Licensing Officer. If the Licensing Officer considers that the applicant is not a fit and proper person the application will be referred to either the Environment and Licensing manager or to the Licensing Committee for further consideration. A refusal to grant or to suspend a licence may be appealed to a Magistrates’ Court under the Public Health Acts 1875 to 1925. The refusal to grant a Hackney Carriage Proprietor’s Licence may be appealed to the Crown Court.
Summary of Rehabilitation Periods Applicable to Certain Sentences (Section 5 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) Sentence
Rehabilitation Period A sentence of imprisonment, detention in a young offenders Ten Years institution or youth custody or corrective training for a term exceeding six months but not exceeding thirty months. A sentence of cashiering, discharge with ignominy or Ten Years dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty’s service. A sentence of imprisonment, detention in a young offender’s Seven Years institution or youth custody for a term not exceeding six months. A sentence of dismissal from Her Majesty’s service Seven Years Any sentence of detention in respect of a conviction in service Five Years disciplinary proceedings A fine or any other sentence subject to rehabilitation under Five Years this Act
Rehabilitation periods are subject to a reduction by half for persons under eighteen. Cautions will be considered spent after one year of the caution.