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Taxi and private hire news

Information on matters concerning hackney carriages and private hire vehicles - such as changes in procedures, consultations, fees and policies. A PDF file will appear for each new monthly update.

Enforcement operation

Another successful joint taxi-enforcement operation was held between Transport for London (TfL) and Runnymede Borough Council

This was the action day last year and more are planned for 2018.

Three TfL officers and two Runnymede officers worked together on Wednesday, 25 October, and a total of 29 hackney carriages/private-hire vehicles were stopped and inspected in the Egham and Virginia Water area .

Of these, nine were licensed by Runnymede, 19 by TfL, and one by Windsor and Maidenhead.

TfL officers suspended three of their vehicle licences immediately for:

  1. tyre condition
  2. illegal livery on the vehicle 
  3. illegal vehicle modification

In addition two TfL drivers were reported for failing to wear their driver's badge.

Runnymede licensing officers had to ask one driver to get their car cleaned, one to replace a first-aid kit, and another to attend the Civic Centre to replace a non-standard plate.

Runnymede Borough Council sets high standards for licensed drivers and vehicles so it is important they know they will be held to account if these are not met.

 


Consultation about changes to taxi licensing

 

We would like your views about a number of proposed changes to current taxi and private hire licensing policy, in a consultation running from Monday 23 October to Monday 4 December.

 

Members of the taxi and private hire trade,  residents and businesses can take part in the consultation at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/driverconvictions

 

The proposed changes include the adoption of a new taxi and private hire convictions policy and mandatory Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness training for all drivers to protect children.

 

The changes are being proposed by all districts and boroughs in Surrey to help provide a consistent approach to the training and assessment of drivers. This means someone who fails to get a licence in one part of Surrey, cannot apply to another as all councils will apply the same approach.

 

The changes also include the introduction of mandatory safeguarding training for taxi drivers throughout the County who want to get or keep a licence. This will help drivers be more aware of and help spot signs of CSE and inform them of the best ways to report concerns for children or vulnerable adults at risk.

 


 

New HC/PH bays in Addlestone

For those of you who were not at the last forum you will have missed the information given out regarding the arrangements for HC and PH vehicles at the new development in Addlestone. (I have copied notes of the forum below in red for your information).

In brief the new development has  barriers which will only allow registered vehicles through to collect customers from Waitrose and Premier Inn, this would be from a designated bay right next to these premises. To access this area you need to be registered with the Addlestone One management office.

They have now provided me with a registration form  pdf icon Addlestone One registration forms [147kb]and asked me to send it out to the trade. If you wish to take advantage of this, simply complete the form and send it with a cheque (Cheques are payable to RBC Services (Addlestone One) Ltd for £25) to the address below :-

Clever Safurawu

Addlestone One Centre Administrator

Centre Management Offices

Unit D, Newchapel House

Market Street

Addlestone

Surrey

KT15 2FZ

If you have any enquiries about this service please contact the below, not taxi licensing.

Telephone - 01932 845267

ron.melia@addlestoneone.co.uk

Clever.safurawu@addlestoneone.co.uk


Hackney Carriage and Private Licensing Hire Policy

Runnymede's pdf icon Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy [1Mb] was adopted by the Council on 2 March 2017, this policy is now in force and is valid until 2 March 2020.

Having this policy enhances public safety and provides the trade and the Council with a clear understanding of conditions and requirements etc.  It will also assist in improving regulation by a process of review and update where there is need for change.

Please make yourself aware of the changes to our requirements and conditions.

Some of the main changes  relate to tinted windows, Mot advisory items, part worn tyres, first aid kit / fire extinguisher standards  and pre booked only signage on private hire vehicles. The exact method of introduction of this signage is yet to be decided but you will all be updated in due course.

It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of the conditions and requirements which are applicable to you, so please update yourself.

To assist you with the requirements for first aid kits, the UK standard BS8599-2 was introduced by The British Standard Institution (BSI) in 2014. This specifies what the kit contains. You must have a kit of this standard for a medium vehicle; the kits also come in small vehicle and large vehicle sizes.

To assist you with fire extinguishers, the UK standard EN03 was introduced in 1997. You must have one which meets this standard and has a capacity of 0.9kg or greater. Both of the above are widely available at most motor part suppliers and online.
The majority of drivers will have first aid kits and fire extinguishers which meet this standard already. A pdf icon First aid and fire extinguisher information [167kb] guide explains the contents and specifications.

Information relating to conditions, requirements, bylaws and statutory law are contained in the appendices at the rear of our pdf icon Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy [1Mb] . An index of contents at the beginning of the policy will assist you in finding specific topics.

You will be able to print a copy of this policy or the relevant parts for your own use if you wish.

In developing this policy we had kept an open mind about much of the regulation and only introduced or retained those requirements and conditions which we believe are necessary for the protection of the public. Those which were unenforceable or out of date have been removed.

For those drivers and operators who keep their vehicles in good order and maintain the currency of their driving documents this will pose no difficulty.


DBS Checks

We now have an online DBS procedure, please see the guidance for full details. This will provide an improvement to the DBS process and overall turnaround time of applications. This is accomplished by removing most of obstacles which delay applications:

  • Hand writing legibility
  • Errors on forms
  • Missing or incomplete information
  • Delayed or lost post
  • Transcribing of applicant details onto DBS system

pdf icon DBS APPLICATION GUIDANCE [234kb]


DVLA licence checks

Driving licence checks are now carried out online. This involves you going online https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence to look at your driving licence record  and then allowing the council to view your record by giving us a check code generated by the DVLA - this code is then valid for 21 days.

In most cases the information contained on your online licence record will be acceptable and where we need any clarification around your driving licence history we can submit a detailed application stating exactly what information is needed along with your consent. I expect this type of enquiry to be very rare.

For you as a driver this means you will no longer have to pay the £5 fee which DVLA charged for the mandate check or the £8 processing charge (unless we have to submit a detailed request for more information).

When making your renewal application enter the DVLA check access code obtained from the online DVLA Shared Driving Licence service to allow the licensing authority to check the your driving record. Please note that the code you obtain will be in both upper case and lower case and you must copy it exactly as given on to the application form. Our forms have been amended for this purpose (should you have an old form just write the check access code clearly on the form).

If your DVLA check is due and does not coincide with a renewal we will contact you to obtain a check code from you, this can be done in very little time by e mail or text.

We aim to keep this process as simple as possible but if we find that it is becoming time consuming due to lack of  response from the trade then it will obviously affect your fees so please act promptly when we make these requests.

 


Assistance Dogs

Under the Equality Act 2010, licensed drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles are under a duty to carry passengers with guide, hearing and other assistance dogs without additional charge. Drivers can apply for to the Council for a certificate exempting them from carrying assistance dogs on medical grounds. Runnymede will take any refusal to carry assistance dogs very seriously.

To highlight the issues those with assistance dogs face we have please read the Guide Dog association web page which gives the full story.Guide Dog information

The Guide Dogs Association have produced a 'top tips' leaflet to help drivers understand the needs of people with assistance dogs, please make yourself aware of these very useful tips.Top tips flyer


Seatbelts

The law regarding seatbelts can be confusing and there are some exemptions for taxis and private hire vehicles, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) produce a useful guide to this.Seat belt law

 


Forums

These are held three times per year alternating between Chertsey and Egham. Their purpose is to enable better communication between the licensing officers and the trade by having a two way flow of information and ideas. Your attendance is very welcome.

Future forum date for 2017 (dates for 2018 will be arranged towards the end of the year)

Chertsey Hall  21 November - Room A  - 10.45 - 12.15

Previous forum notes

pdf icon Forum notes 20 June 2017 [131kb]

pdf icon Forum notes 14 Feb 2017 [145kb]

pdf icon Forum notes November 2016 [149kb]

pdf icon Forum notes July 2016 [164kb]

pdf icon Forum notes 18 February 2016 [190kb]

pdf icon Forum notes 10 November 2015 [33kb]

pdf icon Forum notes 8 July 2015 [140kb]

pdf icon Forum notes 24 February 2015 [184kb]

pdf icon Forum notes 5 November 2014 [99kb]

pdf icon Forum Notes July 2014 [81kb]

pdf icon Forum notes March 2014 [102kb]

pdf icon Forum notes October 2013 [89kb]


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