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Taxi/private hire news flashes

News updates of changes within the taxi/private hire trade. This page will include press releases and details of consultations, rank closures and details of meetings as required.

What's new in taxi/private hire licensing?

MOT exemption for cars, motorcycles and vans

The Government has announced that cars, motorcycles and vans are to be granted a 6-month MOT exemption in order to allow people to carry on with essential travel, such as travelling to and from work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, and shopping for necessities. This temporary exemption will enable vital services to continue, front line workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine.

All cars, vans and motorcycles that would usually require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from Monday 30 March 2020. 

Find out more about the MOT exemption on the GOV.UK website. 

We will apply the same exemption to compliance tests for licensed vehicles; therefore any vehicles requiring a compliance test between Monday 30 March 2020 and Wednesday 30 September 2020 are to be temporarily exempted. 

Please note: all vehicles requiring a compliance test before Monday 30 March 2020 must still be tested. 

Vehicles must, however, be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

 Find advice on keeping a vehicle in good condition on the GOV.UK website. 

This checklist is to be used as an absolute minimum and daily checks should continue to be carried out on licensed vehicles prior to them being used.

You must also only operate under this exemption in conjunction with the Government advice on business operations; the Department of Transport has provided an update on the status of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire services (please see updates below).

Department for Transport (DfT) COVID-19 update: taxis and public hire vehicles (PHVs)

Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work, but the advice is absolutely clear - people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the Government guidance on staying at home and away from others on the GOV.UK website

Clearly, if it is absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.

Critical worker status

Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered critical workers. 

Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable’ people may be considered critical workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical workers should, whenever possible, make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home. Find out more about those people deemed to be 'extremely vulnerable' on the GOV.UK website

In light of the above DfT guidance, taxi drivers and private hire operators must ensure that only absolutely essential journeys are booked and/or undertaken, such as transporting somebody to or from work. To transport people under any other circumstances is putting both drivers and passenger(s) at unnecessary risk. 

MOT/taxi compliance testing

At present we are able to continue to provide MOT/taxi compliance tests at East Riding of Yorkshire Council test centres; this is classed as an 'essential' service.

It may, however, soon be the case that the current restrictions allow only one test centre to remain open in order to provide these services. 

Any vehicle being presented at the test centre(s) for an MOT/taxi compliance test must have been rigorously cleaned with household cleaning products (such as, antiseptic wipes, bleach and water mixture) and be in an hygienic condition. Only one person is to present the vehicle at the test centre and they will be required to adhere to social distancing rules at all times whilst on site and using any reception or waiting areas.

You may be aware that the Government has recently announced that lorries, buses and trailers will be exempt from needing an MOT for 3 months from Saturday 21 March 2020. It is anticipated that there is soon to be an announcement in relation to cars, motorbikes and small vans, the result of which may propose a similar exemption period which may affect our ability to continue providing vehicle testing facilities. 

We will continue to update this information as necessary. 

Small Business Grants

Further to the Government announcement that cash grants are to be made available to small businesses in the coming weeks, there are currently no similar schemes in place, at present, to provide financial support to those who are self-employed. 

The only current measures that have so far been announced for the benefit of self-employed workers are: 

  • income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
  • a relaxation of the ‘minimum income’ rules for those who are self-employed and looking to make a claim for Universal Credit.

As the vast majority of taxi drivers fall into the self-employed category, the current guidelines and restrictions in place make this a deeply concerning time for the trade. There are calls for the Government to urgently address this and make financial assistance available to the self-employed, calculated from their average earnings. 

The most up to date information from the Government can be found via the following link:

GOV.UK - Guidance to employers and businesses about Covid-19 (external website)

This is a matter that, as a local authority, we will be paying very close attention to over the coming days and weeks in order to ensure our licensed drivers are made aware of the most up to date information about any financial assistance that may become available. 

Leeds Clean Air Charging Zone

Leeds City Council has confirmed that the Leeds Clean Air Charging Zone will go live on 28 September 2020. 

The zone will tackle air pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds by encouraging businesses to switch to cleaner vehicles that won't be charged. 

From 28 September 2020, any taxi and private hire vehicles that fail to meet minimum emissions standards will be charged for driving within the zone's boundary.

In order to prepare for the Leeds Clean Air Zone hackney carriage and private hire drivers can:

Bradford Council is proposing a separate Clean Air Zone (CAZ) which will include Bradford city centre, Shipley and Saltaire. The Bradford CAZ is planned to go live after October 2021 and will include the same charges and vehicle categories as the Leeds CAZ but with the addition of most categories of vans and light goods vehicles. 

Further information and opportunities to respond can be found at:

Bradford Council -  Consultation and engagement (external website)

A164 Jock's Lodge Proposal - February 2020

The council is asking for public views on proposed changes to the A164 Jock's Lodge junction area. 

Please find information on: 

A164 Jock's Lodge (external website)

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Proposals For Hackney Carriage Stand Amendments Bridlington

Notice is hereby given that East Riding of Yorkshire Council in pursuance of the powers contained in Section 63 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Proposes to amend the following hackney carriage stands:

  • The relocation of the rank stand on Regents Terrace with no change to operational hours or size
  • The removal of 7 metres of the rank stand located on Cliff Street to allow for an additional disabled access parking bay
  • The removal of 7 metres of the rank stand located on Promenade to allow for an additional disabled access parking bay
  • Removal of the rank stand provision on Promenade to allow for disabled access parking bays
  • Amendments to the rank operating hours on Promenade rank and Queen Street rank. This would allow the full use of the rank overnight and on evenings and provide additional public parking spaces during the day. 

A copy of the proposed amendments is available to view via the attachments below.

Any objections to the proposals or comments on the proposals must be received in writing to:

Louise Wilson,
Licensing Manager,
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Licensing Team,
County Hall, Beverley,
East Riding of Yorkshire,
HU17 9BA

or by email to taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk by 11 March 2020.

If no relevant objections are received, the amended rank provisions will be approved by the council in line with existing procedures and legislative requirements.

Proposed Amendments to Bridlington Taxi Ranks - Full Layout Plan (pdf 361kb) Proposed Amendments to Bridlington Taxi Ranks - Fort Terrace, Regent Terrace (pdf 469kb) Proposed New Rank Layout - Fort Terrace, Regent Terrace (pdf 328kb)

Licensing Fees 2020

In accordance with Section 70 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, East Riding of Yorkshire Council proposes to set the following fees in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing from 1 April 2020

Proposed Fees 2020 (pdf 81kb)

Any objections to the proposed fees must be made in writing to:

Louise Wilson, Licensing Manager
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Licensing Team
County Hall
Beverley
HU17 9BA.

Email to taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk by 31 December 2019.

If no objections to the proposals are received, then the new licensing fees will come into effect on 1 April 2020.

Transport Services Contract opportunities - January 2020 Hackney and Private Hire contracts due to published

The next batch of Transportation Services long term routes are due to be published through the council’s Taxi DPS on YORtender (external website) by Monday 7 October 2019. These routes have start dates in January 2020.

Hackney/Private Hire Operators who have already been admitted to the DPS need take no further action at this time.

Hackney/Private Hire Operators who have not yet been admitted to the Taxi DPS will need to submit an application no later than 12 noon Friday 20 September 2019 to be able to bid for the January 2020 routes.

If an application is not submitted by 12 noon on Friday 20 September 2019, the Hackney/Private Hire Operator will not be admitted in time to be invited to bid for the January 2020 routes mentioned above.

For queries and further information, please contact the Council's Procurement Services team by email at: 

Email:  procurement@eastriding.gov.uk 

Vehicle licences go electronic

All vehicle licences will now be issued to you by email, once received please ensure you save the attached licence and note its date of expiry on your calendar. 

The licence can now be produced on request for inspection in two different ways, you can print off a copy and keep this in your vehicle or you can download the licence and save this on your smartphone for viewing on request. 

Get Home Safe Tonight logo

Appeal case outcome - Wendy's Wheels, Bridlington

The private hire operator licence held by Ms W Jackson and Ms A Noble for Wendy's Wheels, Bridlington and the hackney carriage drivers licence for Ms W Jackson were revoked by the licensing committee on the 6 March 2017, following the committees determination that Ms Jackson was not a 'fit and proper' person to hold such licences. 

An appeal was lodged to Beverley Magistrates court against both revocations and the matter was heard again in full on the 27/28 November 2017. The magistrates' court upheld the decision of the committee and determined that the decision of the committee was not wrong in revoking both licences.  

An appeal was then lodged to the Crown Court against the decision of the Magistrates Court, which was heard on the 26/27 July 2018 by Recorder Witherington and two Justices of the Peace.  

On the 30 July 2018, Recorder Witherington passed down the judgment, the decision of the Crown Court was that the decision of the licensing committee and the decision of the Magistrates Court was not wrong, and the revocation of both licences, therefore, took immediate effect.  

Notes taken from the judgment can be read in the PDF available via the link below:

Vehicle policy changes -  effective from 1 April 2018    

If you are considering replacing your vehicle after the 1 April 2018 there is a change to the policy that you should be aware of. 

From the 1 April 2018, all new vehicles must have a European emissions rating of five or above. Vehicles that do not have a European emissions rating of five or above will not be licensed after this date. It is also recommended that when purchasing a replacement vehicle from 1 April 2018 that you consider a vehicle with a Euro NCAP star ratings of five or more are required. 

Both the emissions rating and NCAP star ratings can be checked with the vehicle manufacturer or online using a vehicle specification guide such as ‘Parkers’.

First private hire operators to achieve five-star status 

Five private hire operator firms have become the first in the East Riding to gain a five-star status in a scheme designed to promote public safety and raise standards.

Home Sweet Home, based in Hornsea; Willerby Cars; All Journey Solutions, based in Beverley, Wilberfoss Travel were presented with certificates and display stickers after completing the training and assessment process.

All White Cars based in Hook have also achieved the five-star rating but were unable to attend the presentation.

The private hire operators’ mandatory accreditation scheme is the first of its kind in the country and has been implemented by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s licensing scheme and will see operators required to display a star rating, similar to the food hygiene ratings given to food outlets.

The accreditation sticker and certificate can be prominently displayed in offices and vehicles giving the public information and reassurance that the firm they are using operates to a high standard and promotes public safety.

All operators licensed with the council will be assessed on a number of criteria and given a rating of between three and five, with three being the minimum basic requirement.

Since the scheme launched earlier this year, 76 of the existing 80 licensed private hire operators have already achieved the satisfactory three-star rating by attending free private hire law and safeguarding awareness sessions.

There are also 12 operators who are working towards the five-star rating with assessments planned for early in 2018.

The scheme is just one of a number of measures introduced this year by the council for taxis and private hire services operating in the East Riding to give protection to both customers and drivers.

These include the installation of CCTV cameras in licensed vehicles, mandatory safeguarding training and the introduction of the distinctive green and white livery on taxi vehicles.

Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvement at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to those operators who have committed to the scheme and completed their five-star accreditation.

“I am really proud that East Riding of Yorkshire Council is the first in the country to implement such a scheme which raises standards and provide a real commitment providing a safe and reliable private hire service for the public.

“I hope there are many more five-star ratings to come.”

Anthony Hardwick, operator of Home Sweet Home based in Hornsea, said: “I wanted to gain the five stars so people in the area know we are a well-run, reputable company that can be trusted.

“Issues over the past few years have left some of the taxi industry with a bad reputation so a scheme like this helps give customers that reassurance and confidence.

Issues over the past few years have left some of the taxi industry with a bad reputation so a scheme like this is great as it helps give customers reassurance that we are a well-run and trustworthy business.

Jon Wray, operator of Willerby Cars, who has been operating for just 18 months, said: “We’re proud of this achievement as we always strive to do our best for the customers and this will give them some reassurance.

“I’d urge every private hire operator to take part in this scheme as it’s beneficial to everyone.”

Paul Hinton, operator of Wilberfoss Travel, said: “I take a lot of pride in the service I offer and do go that extra mile for customers.

“The taxi industry has had some bad press recently so a scheme like this really does help to raise standards and provide reassurance for the public.”

Andrew Jessop, operator of All Journey Solutions which is an executive vehicle hire company based in Beverley, said: “I’d urge everyone to take part in this scheme – it doesn’t cost anything to complete but has great benefits.

“I think it’s a good scheme to try and raise the standards and this accreditation shows the company takes public safety seriously.”

Reporting concerns about unlicensed taxis  

Anyone who has any concerns about unlicensed taxis should email the council’s licensing team at taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk 

Interested in carrying out taxi/private hire contracts for East Riding of Yorkshire Council?

If you are a licensed private hire operator or a hackney carriage proprietor then why not apply to be eligible to tender for passenger services contracts on behalf of East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Please see the leaflet below for further information on how to register: 

Applying to be registered for contracts leaflet (pdf 113kb)