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Taxi & Private Hire Licences

Information on Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver, Vehicle and Operator Licences.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ADVICE FOR TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE LICENSEES (last updated 24/9/20)

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NEW MEASURES - 22 SEPTEMBER 2020

The government has announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England

These include:

Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings.

Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

Full changes are detailed in the link below

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september

 

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The Government has published new transport guidance on the safe provision of transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are separate guidance documents for transport providers and for passengers. Both guidance documents cover all modes. The Department for Transport has also produced guidance specifically for the taxi/private hire trade.

The main points are detailed below but you are strongly recommended to read the full guidance documents.

Face coverings

The government guidance recommends the wearing of face coverings in an enclosed space where social distancing isn't possible.

Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by the law. If you choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off. Follow the government guidance on face coverings to understand how to wear and make a face covering.

A face covering is not the same as a surgical mask or respirator, these should continue to be reserved for health and care workers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering#wearing-a-face-covering

Should protective barriers be installed between drivers and passengers?

The installation of protective barriers is a decision for the vehicle operator to make based on their own assessment of risk. Torridge District Council will support the use of barriers providing they do not compromise public safety and they comply with TDC guidance.

pdf icon TDC Protective screen guidance [72kb]

You must also obtain approval from your insurance company.

You may also wish to consider:

  • Eliminating the use of face-to-face passenger seating

  • Use of ventilation

  • Reducing occupancy to individual passengers in the back left-hand seat for vehicles that do not enable 2 metre separation; considering reducing occupancy in a larger vehicle

Keep your vehicle clean to reduce the impact of the virus

  • Regularly clean surfaces, such as card payment devices, steering wheels, handbrake, door handles, with normal cleaning products. (At the beginning, middle and end of a shift as a minimum)

  • Carry a box of tissues and use tissues to catch coughs and sneezes

  • Dispose of used tissues in the bin as soon as possible

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water (you can keep a bottle of water and a bar of soap in your vehicle) or use a sanitizer gel - do this for at least 20 seconds. Sanitizer gel should be a minimum 60% alcohol

GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS

pdf icon Department for Transport Taxi PHV QA and Letter [374kb]

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/vehicles

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT SCHEMES

The Government have announced a support package called the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

You may also be eligable for a loan via the Coronavirus Business Interuption Loan Scheme

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/

Details for claiming Universal Credit:

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Web link to the business support page detailing the support the government is providing at the current time.

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

CONTACTING THE COUNCIL

Riverbank House reception is closed to visitors and we have been advised not to have face to face meetings. Therefore all applications will need to be posted, placed through the letterbox at Riverbank House or emailed. We would encourage all future contact to be via email to licensing@torridge.gov.uk. All plates and badges will have to be posted to you. If you are having any problems obtaining any of the requirements for your applications please contact us as soon as possible.

We will continue to maintain the licensing service as far as possible, however, this is subject to sufficient staffing levels across all council services and we have been advised that we may be redeployed to other essential services if the need. This will obviously severely disrupt processing times so please ensure you submit applications as soon as possible.

I appreciate these are difficult and worrying times and we will try and provide as much information as possible but this is a new rapidly changing situation so this may not be always possible.

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The Council has a duty to license taxis ('hackney carriages'), private hire vehicles and persons driving or operating these vehicles. Licensing vehicles and drivers ensures minimum safety standards are met and provides protection for the travelling public.

Taxis and private hire vehicles can be licensed to carry up to eight passengers but they operate in different ways. Once a vehicle is licensed as a taxi or private hire vehicle, it can only be driven by a person who holds a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence issued by the Council. Driving a licensed vehicle without the appropriate licence is an offence. If you need further advice, please contact us at licensing@torridge.gov.uk

  • Driver Licences ... more information

    In order to drive a taxi (hackney carriage) or a private hire vehicle you will require a driver licence. The Council issues combined Taxi (Hackney Carriage) and Private Hire driver licences so you will only need one licence to drive either type of vehicle.

  • Taxi Vehicle Licences ... more information

    Taxis (sometimes referred to as hackney carriages) may ply for hire on any public road, street or thoroughfare and wait on appointed taxi ranks. A licence is required before you can use a vehicle for hire and reward.

  • Private Hire Licences ... more information

    Private Hire Vehicles are not allowed to ply for hire in the same way as a hackney carriage. The vehicle must be booked in advance of the hiring. This is normally done via the telephone or in person at a booking office.

  • Licence Fees

    View the current taxi/private hire licence fees

  • Licensing Policy for Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles ... more information

    As part of its commitment to improving its regulatory services, the Council has developed a licensing policy for hackney carriages ('taxis') and private hire vehicles. The policy explains the Council's approach to licensing vehicles, drivers and operators. It also sets out the standards it proposes to apply when dealing with licence applications and carrying out enforcement action. The Policy will be reviewed every three years and may be amended from time to time in the light of new legislation or in response to emerging regulatory requirements.

  • Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles ... more information

    There are currently 4 licensed hackney carriages that are wheelchair accessible. Members of the public who use a wheelchair can safely access and be transported in these vehicles. Drivers have a duty in law to provide reasonable assistance to any passengers who wish to travel in a licensed vehicle in their wheelchair. A list of wheelchair accessible vehicles and contact numbers is available in the downloads section.

  • Hackney Carriage Demand Study ... more information

    The Council commissioned its latest study into demand for hackney carriage ('taxi') services in Torridge District in 2019.