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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire - Licensing Policy

Consultation open from 1 to 31 August 2019

Introduction and background

Cambridge City Council has responsibility for licensing Hackney carriage, Private Hire and Dual Drivers, proprietors and operators within the City.

In doing so, Cambridge City Council seeks to promote the following objectives that impact on the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trades:

  1. The protection of the public;
  2. The establishment of professional and respected hackney carriage and private hire trades;
  3. Access to an efficient and effective public transport service; and
  4. The protection of the environment

Cambridge City Council has adopted the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, which governs the licensing of Private Hire Vehicles, Private Hire Operators and drivers. The adoption of this act also encompasses the adoption of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, which governs the licensing of Hackney Carriages.

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy applies to all drivers, vehicles and operators. The policy is intended to ensure that both the trade and the public have a document that fully explains the Council’s Licensing requirements in context for all parties in a clear and transparent manner.

The current policy has been in effect since the 16th July 2019; however, the Environmental Health Manager has had numerous communications with the trade regarding making amendments to the current policy. These include;

  1. Adding a requirement for the operator telephone number to be displayed on Private Hire Vehicle door signs.
  2. Council to re-consider the implementation date for the requirement of all new Licensed Saloon Vehicles to be Zero or Ultra-Low Emission, currently 1st April 2020.
  3. The Council to consider the removal of the age limit for all new Zero or Ultra-Low Emissions to be less than 4 years old

Consultation information

Cambridge City Council is conducting a consultation to review the proposed changes to the policy. This will ensure that it complies with governmental best practice guidance and will provide protection for the public using the service.

The consultation is open to the members of the taxi and private hire licensing trade, public and stakeholders.

The closing date for submitting consultation responses is the end of Saturday 31 August 2019 11.59pm.

All feedback is encouraged and all comments will be considered as part of the review and in preparation of the final policy document.

Any comments that you forward to the Licensing Authority should clearly state your name and any organisation or persons you may be responding on behalf of.

Please send your response:

  • By email: taxi@cambridge.gov.uk. Please include the words ‘Taxi Policy’ in the subject field.
  • In writing: Commercial & Licensing Team, Environmental Services, Cambridge City Council, and PO Box 700, Cambridge, CB1 0JH.

Summary of proposals

1. Amend the policy to require the mandatory display of a contact telephone number on operator door signs for Private Hire Vehicles

Members of the public may wish to make telephone contact with operator regarding a driver or vehicle. If a contact telephone number is displayed, it provides members of the public another means of making contact with operator. This supports in the safeguarding of members of the public, as concerns and complaints are reported and dealt with promptly.

2. Extend the policy’s implementation date for all new Licensed Saloon Vehicles to be Zero or Ultra-Low Emission

The current policy states 1st April 2020 as the implementation date. Officers to complete research on the current vehicle market to consider if implementation date should be extended, and advise new implementation date based on research.

3. To remove the age limit for all new Zero or Ultra-Low Emissions to be less than 4 years old

Currently the policy states that all new vehicles must be less than 4 years old to be licensed as a Cambridge City Council vehicle. The reason for this was to ensure that the newer vehicles are less polluting. However with the new Zero and Ultra Low Emission vehicle standards within the policy, this age limit would not be necessary.

Next steps

The results of the consultation exercise will be put to Members at the next Licensing Committee on 30 September 2019 to take account of the feedback from the trade and other stakeholders in order to consider any amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.