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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?

Temporary Taxi Rank Provision

We can confirm that effective immediately there is a temporary rank in place in the loading layby by the Flemingate Complex on Armstrong Way. This will remain in place for your uses until the end of Tuesday 1 January 2019.

Please spread the word to your customers that taxi services will be available in the Flemingate area of Beverley over the festive period and New Year period.

Spaces will be limited, and there will not be a waiting facility on Armstrong Way if the bay is full. Anyone found to be waiting in this area will be reported to the Taxi Hub for obstruction of the highway.

Taxi Safe 'Get home safe tonight' Christmas Campaign

East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Licensing Team is putting plans in place to keep customers and drivers safe and urging the festive party-goers to make sure they plan ahead and only use legitimate and licensed taxis. 

The Licensing Team are warning people to keep safe but be wary of bogus taxi drivers as they head out to celebrate over November and December. 

To help 'Get home safe tonight' Christmas stickers will be prominently displayed in all licensed vehicles. Safety posters and stickers will also be displayed in a range of premises ranging from public houses to restaurants and takeaways. 

During the festive season, the Licensing Team receives an increase in reports of bogus vehicles purporting to be legitimate taxi services. With potentially hundreds of Christmas parties taking place, anyone who travels by taxi should make sure it is a licensed taxi service or private hire car before they make their journey. 

The Licensing Team has issued the following important information and advice for people using taxis or private hire vehicles: 

  • Only Hackney Carriage cabs can be hailed in the street or on a taxi rank and they should carry a plate on the back of the vehicle - East Riding licensed vehicles display white oval door stickers and have a top light saying "TAXI"
  • Private hire vehicles must always be booked in advance and display a plate on the back of the vehicle - East Riding licensed vehicles have yellow oval stickers on the front passenger doors saying "pre-booked" only
  • All licensed drivers should have a driver's identity badge issued by the relevant council, which should be prominently displayed at all times
  • Carry a telephone number of a trusted, licensed taxi or private hire company
  • If possible, book a taxi or mini-cab in advance and ask for the name of the driver as well as the make and colour of the car
  • Confirm the details with the driver when the vehicle arrives to make sure it's the car you ordered
  • If you are ordering a taxi from a public place, try not to let anyone overhear your name and address
  • If you are out with friends, make sure everyone has a way of getting home
  • If someone in your group has had too much to drink, accompany them to the taxi and make sure it is a legitimate vehicle - friends should stick together and make sure everyone gets home safely
  • Do not walk home if you have had too much alcohol as this can make you vulnerable or you may have an accident - will you be safe? Are you in control?
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:

(1) Jackson and (2) Noble v East Riding of Yorkshire Council (pdf 53kb opens in new window)

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 5 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 opens in new window)