Taxi Driver Online

UK cab trade debate and advice
It is currently Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:33 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:53 pm
Posts: 10381
Questions regarding the legality of a licensing authority to apply certain conditions to a Hackney carriage vehicle license is a constant occurance. However those reading TDO should be aware that every instance of such conditions or policy is available on this website. Some policy conditons have for the time being been set in stone by the courts but others are open to individual challenge such as we have seen in the various cases surrounding the imposition of a certain vehicle colour?

One policy condition that has a habit of resurfacing time and time again is that of vehicle age? Most of us would agree that many older vehicles are better maintained than some newer vehicles but council policy sometimes dictates that regardless of condition if the age of the vehicle is outside that prescribed by the council policy then it won't get licensed.

Here is one such case where the condition of the vehicle was a non consideration because the council policy on age was rigidly applied even though the court stated otherwise?

The judge admits that the policy as worded is "inflexible". Yet if that be the case he would have found great difficulty in finding for the council. However he justifies his decision in the same sentence where he states,

"Although the policy was inflexibly worded, that was not fatal since the evidence established that the policy could be flexibly applied".

The evidence the judge relied upon in this particular instance was the passage in a letter of refusal by the Chairman of the committee to the applicant. The passage stated this.....

The sub committee also considered whether to depart from the councils policy in this case but decided there were no grounds for doing so.

A report by the taxi inspector said the vehicle was in good condition and met all the requirements set down by the council apart from the vehicle being brand new?

So it would seem in this case that even though the wording of the policy is inflexible, as long as the committee advise the applicant that they considered departing from their policy but decided there were no grounds for doing so, then all is fine and dandy.

It might be prudent to ask that if this vehicle being only three years old and in A1 condition then what would constitute departing from their rigid policy of only licensing a Brand new vehicle on first application?

.........................................................

R v CITY & COUNTY OF SWANSEA (Respondent), EX PARTE JULIE AMANDA JONES (Applicant) (1996)


QBD (Harrison J) 28/11/96

LOCAL GOVERNMENT - ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - LICENSING

HACKNEY VEHICLE LICENSING : FIRST LICENCE : REQUIREMENT OF NEW VEHICLE : WHETHER LAWFUL : JUDICIAL REVIEW

The respondent council's policy of not licensing hackney carriages on the first occasion unless new was lawful.


Application by Julie Jones ('Jones') for judicial review of a decision by the respondent ('the council') refusing Jones' application for a hackney vehicle licence in relation to a 1991 black cab on the ground that it was council policy that vehicles would not be accepted for licensing on the first occasion unless new. Jones' vehicle was already licensed as a hackney carriage in Plymouth, and the council accepted that there was no objection to its mechanical condition. However, the council justified the policy on the grounds that its purpose was to maintain the standard of hackney carriages in Swansea and to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers.

The issues for the court were: (i) whether the council fettered its discretion by adopting and applying its policy; (ii) whether the policy was unlawful as being unreasonable and irrational; and (iii) whether the application of the policy was unreasonable and irrational.

HELD: (1) Although the policy was inflexibly worded, that was not fatal since the evidence established that the policy could be flexibly applied. It was perfectly permissible for the council to apply its policy consistently without attracting the criticism that the policy was being applied inflexibly, provided that the council had an open mind as to the possibility of exceptions. (2) It was clear that the policy was arrived at after consultation and that it had reasonable objectives.

There was, therefore, a rational basis for the policy. (3) Notwithstanding that the vehicle was licensed elsewhere and was in good mechanical condition, there was nothing objectionable in the council deciding to set high standards and then keeping to them. On that basis it was not possible to say that the decision was Wednesbury unreasonable.

Application dismissed.

Mr N Williams QC and Mr P Maddox instructed by R D Edwards Morgan & James (Swansea) for the applicant. Mr R Singh instructed by the Solicitors Division, Swansea City Council for the respondent.
..........................................

The sections that are broadly accepted as applying conditions to hackney carriage vehicles are as follows. All these sections have at some time had success and failure but you will find any conditions applying to vehicle type etc will probably be cited from one of these sections but mainly section 47 of the LGMP 1976.

Town Police Clauses Act 1847

Hackney carriages

37 Commissioners may licence hackney carriages And with respect to hackney carriages, be it enacted as follows:

The commissioners may from time to time licence to ply for hire within the prescribed distance, or if no distance is prescribed, within five miles from the General Post Office of the city, town, or place to which the special Act refers, (which in that case shall be deemed the prescribed distance,) such number of hackney coaches or carriages of any kind or description adapted to the carriage of persons as they think fit.

Modification

Modified, in relation to hackney carriages, by the Transport Act 1985, s 16. See further, in relation to a licensed taxi, licensed under this section, providing a local service under a special licence: the Local Services (Operation by Taxis) Regulations 1986, SI 1986/567.

38 What vehicles to be deemed hackney carriages Every wheeled carriage, whatever may be its form or construction, used in standing or plying for hire in any street within the prescribed distance, and every carriage standing upon any street within the prescribed distance, having thereon any numbered plate required by this or the special Act to be fixed upon a hackney carriage, or having thereon any plate resembling or intended to resemble any such plate as aforesaid, shall be deemed to be a hackney carriage within the meaning of this Act; and in all proceedings at law or otherwise the term "hackney carriage" shall be sufficient to describe any such carriage: Provided always, that no stage coach used for the purpose of standing or plying for passengers to be carried for hire at separate fares, and duly licensed for that purpose, and having thereon the proper numbered plates required by law to be placed on such stage coaches, shall be deemed to be a hackney carriage within the meaning of this Act.
…………………………………………………….

1976 act section 47 Licensing of hackney carriages

(1) A district council may attach to the grant of a licence of a hackney carriage under the Act of 1847 such conditions as the district council may consider reasonably necessary.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing subsection, a district council may require any hackney carriage licensed by them under the Act of 1847 to be of such design or appearance or bear such distinguishing marks as shall clearly identify it as a hackney carriage.

(3) Any person aggrieved by any conditions attached to such a licence may appeal to a magistrates' court.

............................


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 49122
Location: 1066 Country
Don't these councils realise that having a 'brand new vehicle only' policy leads to older cars remaining licensed? [-(

If you have got a 7 year old car that can be licensed till, say, 10 years, you are going to keep it untill it falls apart.

Whereas if you could buy a 3/4 year old motor, then more times than not you will.

Or have I got it wrong?

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:45 pm 
fully agree sussex, im sure the cost of depreciation on a new car and finance for huge amounts by some drivers which they cant get or obtain due to credit ratings will put some drivers in debt as they will take out loans from less unscrupulous companies at huge rates of intrest.
where as 4 year old cars changed every couple of years is surely better than 10 year old motors been used possibly.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:25 pm
Posts: 37016
Location: Wayneistan
Quote:
Most of us would agree that many older vehicles are better maintained than some newer vehicles but council policy sometimes dictates that regardless of condition if the age of the vehicle is outside that prescribed by the council policy then it won't get licensed.


Thats an ambiguous statement JD.

If a local authority wishes to impose a condition attached to a license regarding the age of a vehicle, then it is entitled to do so. I would suggest for this to happen the LA will in most cases have proof that older vehicles fail tests with higher degrees of faults etc.

The policy in Swansea....correct me if I'm wrong...was for newly licensed vehicles?

I think it is reasonably fair that if someone is to be granted a new free issue license, then they should provide a vehicle that is new.

regards

CC

_________________
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
George Carlin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 49122
Location: 1066 Country
Wouldn't be nice if we could all support that each and every driver be treated as equally as others.

Be they new, old, fat or thin.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:25 pm
Posts: 37016
Location: Wayneistan
Sussex wrote:
Wouldn't be nice if we could all support that each and every driver be treated as equally as others.

Be they new, old, fat or thin.


Im not so sure about the old fat ones :wink:

CC

_________________
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
George Carlin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:53 pm
Posts: 10381
captain cab wrote:
Thats an ambiguous statement JD.


What's ambiguous about it?

Quote:
If a local authority wishes to impose a condition attached to a license regarding the age of a vehicle, then it is entitled to do so.


A local Authority has to comply with the law as you well know and it is only allowed to attach a condition if the condition they wish to attach is reasonable

Quote:
The policy in Swansea....correct me if I'm wrong...was for newly licensed vehicles?


Ok, I'll correct you, the policy was for "brand new vehicles at first registration" but I did state that. The court pointed out that the policy should not be inflexible. The policy of Swansea as the wording suggests, is or was inflexible. Even though I mentioned how that aspect of the policy was circumvented by the council.

Quote:
I think it is reasonably fair that if someone is to be granted a new free issue license, then they should provide a vehicle that is new.


I'm not going to go as far as to state what should or should not be licensed because that is a matter for those given the task of issuing licenses. I take note of your opinion but perhaps your opinion is as rigid as the policy of Swansea?

Regards

JD


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:30 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Whitecliffes County
captain cab wrote:
Quote:
Most of us would agree that many older vehicles are better maintained than some newer vehicles but council policy sometimes dictates that regardless of condition if the age of the vehicle is outside that prescribed by the council policy then it won't get licensed.

Since April 2004 the LA decided to put in place age restrictions, under 3 years on 1st reg, April 2007 see's "off" at 6 Years. In October this Year there was a compromise!!! The Under 3 Years became under 4 Years, but less than 60,000 on the clock :lol: A certain member of the Trade thought this to be the best we could get ( I was on my Hol's) so that's what we got, now this person has aquired a 4 Year 4 month exec vehicle and can't get a Licence :wink: he has to go infront of the committee :x :shock: :-o does he get it Licensed :?: :?: does he think he's made a boo boo on accepting such a silly compromise? Yes he does, because Age restrictions have been an embarrassing problem for the LA since 2004, and now is the time that the record should be set straight. The LA is playing a naughty "tit for tat" game at the moment, if I get "free" Legal advice proving this, I will take it further!! "watch this space" committee meeting 16th Jan.

_________________
pussycat


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:25 pm
Posts: 37016
Location: Wayneistan
JD wrote:
captain cab wrote:
Thats an ambiguous statement JD.


What's ambiguous about it?

Quote:
If a local authority wishes to impose a condition attached to a license regarding the age of a vehicle, then it is entitled to do so.


A local Authority has to comply with the law as you well know and it is only allowed to attach a condition if the condition they wish to attach is reasonable

Quote:
The policy in Swansea....correct me if I'm wrong...was for newly licensed vehicles?


Ok, I'll correct you, the policy was for "brand new vehicles at first registration" but I did state that. The court pointed out that the policy should not be inflexible. The policy of Swansea as the wording suggests, is or was inflexible. Even though I mentioned how that aspect of the policy was circumvented by the council.

Quote:
I think it is reasonably fair that if someone is to be granted a new free issue license, then they should provide a vehicle that is new.


I'm not going to go as far as to state what should or should not be licensed because that is a matter for those given the task of issuing licenses. I take note of your opinion but perhaps your opinion is as rigid as the policy of Swansea?

Regards

JD


Ambiguous is the wrong word, I think I should apologise and use the expression, meaningless statement.

Most of us would agree older vehicles are better maintained than some newer vehicles.

or put another way;

Most of us would agree some newer vehicles are better maintained than some older vehicles......if you see my point.

The grounds of a reasonable condition are?

I would suggest the reasonableness of a decision is based around a councils experience. For example if people were licensing vehicles which were consistantly of an older age and these vehicles regularly failed tests as opposed to newer vehicles being licensed and passing first time?

My opinion is that a person getting a freely issued license on the basis of them starting out in business should see a significant investment in that business. I suppose I am wrong for presuming that a person should be required to invest in his or her business?

If it needs a new vehicle to satisfy me, then perhaps I would like to see newly issued licenses attached to newly made vehicles.

regards

CC

_________________
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
George Carlin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:53 pm
Posts: 10381
captain cab wrote:
I think it is reasonably fair that if someone is to be granted a new free issue license,


I was under the impression all licenses are "free". Why do you place an emphasis on the word "free"? Councils are not in a position to ration licenses in fact they must issue licenses because they have no other option, apart from that given them under section 16.

Quote:
then they should provide a vehicle that is new.


My original post was about the inflexibility of a condition and not about whether the council had a right to impose such a condition. I did say that "I'm not going to go as far as to state what should or should not be licensed because that is a matter for those given the task of issuing licenses".

However from the comments you have made it would appear that you support a condition which is inflexible? The court emphasised the inflexibility of a condition which I highlighted when I said this.

Here is one such case where the condition of the vehicle was a non consideration because the council policy on age was rigidly applied even though the court stated otherwise?

The judge admits that the policy as worded is "inflexible". Yet if that be the case he would have found great difficulty in finding for the council. However he justifies his decision in the same sentence where he states,

"Although the policy was inflexibly worded, that was not fatal since the evidence established that the policy could be flexibly applied".


Quote:
Ambiguous is the wrong word, I think I should apologise and use the expression, meaningless statement.


There is nothing meaningless in pointing out that some older vehicles are better maintained than some newer ones, which would obviously have the double negative of meaning some older vehicles are not as well maintained as their newer counterparts. Therefore vehicle condition is not down to age factor but down to additional maintenance factors.

In this particular case it might have been a different story if the vehicle presented for licensing had had a very low mileage comparable to a new vehicle.

Quote:
The grounds of a reasonable condition are?

I would suggest the reasonableness of a decision is based around a councils experience. For example if people were licensing vehicles which were consistently of an older age and these vehicles regularly failed tests as opposed to newer vehicles being licensed and passing first time?


Well i'm glad the law has seen fit to interpret reasonableness somewhat differently than the definition you propose.

Up until we incorporated the Human rights act the case for what is reasonable was set out in two cases that have stood the test of time since 1948 and 1985 respectively.

Associated Provincial Picture Houses v. Wednesbury Corporation 1948

Council of Civil Service Unions v. Minister for the Civil Service 1985

The test is this....

Unreasonableness is categorised as the "unreasonableness" of an administrative decision that is so extreme that courts may intervene to correct it.

The court stated that it would only intervene to correct a bad administrative decision on grounds of its unreasonableness if the decision was, "So outrageous in its defiance of logic or accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it".

The human rights act placed greater emphasis on what is reasonable and it requires judges to undertake a more searching review of administrative decisions. The European Court of Human Rights requires reviewing courts to subject the original decision to "anxious scrutiny" when an administrative measure conflicts or infringes on a Convention right. In order to justify such an intrusion of a human right the Respondents will have to show that it pursued a "pressing social need" and that the means employed to achieve this were proportionate to the limitation of the right.


Therefore the reasoning of a council condition is not as black and white as you perceive. This is highlighted by the many reversals of unreasonable council decisions that are constantly handed down by the courts.

Quote:
My opinion is that a person getting a freely issued license on the basis of them starting out in business should see a significant investment in that business. I suppose I am wrong for presuming that a person should be required to invest in his or her business?

If it needs a new vehicle to satisfy me, then perhaps I would like to see newly issued licenses attached to newly made vehicles.


You are entitled to your opinion but you would no doubt fall foul of the law if your opinion was converted into actions and those actions were so inflexible that they amounted to being so unreasonable that a reasonable authority would ever consider imposing it.

Regards

JD


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:31 pm
Posts: 35
Location: North West
I have had this argument in the past, just to put another slant on it this is how i read it:

Assuming the new cab at first licence rule is set in pursuance of section 47 (1) of the 1976 act

1976 act section 47 Licensing of hackney carriages

(1) [b]A district council may attach to the grant of a licence
of a hackney carriage under the Act of 1847 such conditions as the district council may consider reasonably necessary


There is no provision in law for the council to insist on a new vehicle as this is a pre-condition , the above act provides for conditions to be attached to the grant of a licence under the 1847 act, until such licence is granted then no condition can be attached as nothing exists for them to attach it to


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 49122
Location: 1066 Country
Road Runner wrote:
There is no provision in law for the council to insist on a new vehicle as this is a pre-condition , the above act provides for conditions to be attached to the grant of a licence under the 1847 act, until such licence is granted then no condition can be attached as nothing exists for them to attach it to

But how would anyone know if a council will license a vehicle or not? :?

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:31 pm
Posts: 35
Location: North West
Sussex wrote:
Road Runner wrote:
There is no provision in law for the council to insist on a new vehicle as this is a pre-condition , the above act provides for conditions to be attached to the grant of a licence under the 1847 act, until such licence is granted then no condition can be attached as nothing exists for them to attach it to

But how would anyone know if a council will license a vehicle or not? :?


As long as the council are assured it is fit for use as a hackney carriage then under the 1847 act it must grant a licence or defend it's decision in a magistrates court initially

As i said before, conditions may only be attached to the GRANT of a licence, it may be an unfortunate wording from the councils perception but there it is in black and white


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 49122
Location: 1066 Country
Road Runner wrote:
As long as the council are assured it is fit for use as a hackney carriage then under the 1847 act it must grant a licence or defend it's decision in a magistrates court initially.

But how will a new driver know if the council will accept his vehicle? :?

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:31 pm
Posts: 35
Location: North West
Sussex wrote:
Road Runner wrote:
As long as the council are assured it is fit for use as a hackney carriage then under the 1847 act it must grant a licence or defend it's decision in a magistrates court initially.

But how will a new driver know if the council will accept his vehicle? :?


Why wouldn't they if the pre-condition was proved to be unenforceable in a court of law? yet all other lawful requirements were fulfilled :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group