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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:44 pm 
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Where to start with this :roll:

I'm sure someone on here will have strong opinions on this, but not sure if it'll affect them or not :?


Plymouth's taxis could be turning green and white - as cap on numbers axed

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/p ... en-6224989

A coloured livery taxi fleet of a specified green and white is part of new plans for the city

Plans to scrap the cap on the number of hackney carriages Plymouth can have on the streets have been unveiled – and they could all be turning green.

Proposals designed to get more people to join Plymouth’s taxi trade as well as encourage cabbies and operators to go greener have been set out in a new draft Taxi Licensing Policy.

The scheme, which will go out for consultation next week, could see more taxis on Plymouth streets, and greener, lower emission vehicles and green livery are also among the key proposals being unveiled to help the city’s taxi trade.

The number of Hackney Carriage drivers has fallen from 357 to 315 in the past two years, with the number of private hire drivers falling from 801 to 667.

Cllr John Riley, cabinet member for governance, human resources, IT, community safety and licensing, said: ‘We are using this review required by the Government to see what measures we can take to help revive the trade while at the same time looking at changes to help us meet our carbon emission targets.

“Plymouth lost around 160 drivers over the pandemic and we want to make it easier for drivers to return by removing the hoops they would have to jump through.

“By removing the limit on the number of hackney carriages Plymouth can have, we hope to see new drivers join and work in the evening and night time economy. We want people to go out and enjoy what Plymouth has to offer and we want them to get home safely.”

The green and white livery measures which were first proposed in 2017 are back on the table as a measure to increase confidence from the public.

The new livery would give people confidence that they are hailing a properly licensed and approved cab, Cllr Riley added: “The colours are distinctive, they are Plymouth’s colours and promote pride and professionalism. We are proposing a gradual move to this new livery so that drivers and operators won’t be hit too hard financially.”

Ideas outlined include:

· Removing the limit on the number of hackney carriages and extending the period of time that drivers can return to the trade to three years without having to complete the drivers’ test and knowledge test.

· An enhanced age and emissions policy to clean up the current taxi fleet and work towards achieving the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan by 2030.

· A coloured livery taxi fleet of a specified green and white. This is would be for newly plated vehicles only although from 2027 all taxis would be expected to have this livery.

· All hackney carriages must take card payments – most taxis and private hire vehicles do this, but this move will help passengers to get home safely and not worry about getting cash to pay their cab home.

A delegated decision has been signed this week giving the go-ahead for the consultation which starts on November 25 and will last 12 weeks and the Council wants to hear from passengers as well as the trade.

The Department for Transport has asked all councils to review taxi policies to make sure they comply with the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, which was published in July 2020.

The proposed main changes have been shared with key players on both sides of the trade before the formal consultation and have received mainly positive feedback.

Like the many other industries, measures will need to be taken to upgrade vehicles in line with latest regulations and laws designed to address the effects of climate change.

The policy will be reviewed within the next two to three years to ensure the Council continually reviews and updates the emissions policy in line with the Governments recommendations.

The consultation on the taxi policy will get underway on November 25, 2021 and finish on February 17, 2022.

To comment on the proposals, fill in the online consultation which will start on 25 November and will be on the webpage at https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/licensingan ... andbyelaws


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:22 pm 
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Quote:
The scheme, which will go out for consultation next week, could see more taxis on Plymouth streets, and greener, lower emission vehicles and green livery are also among the key proposals being unveiled to help the city’s taxi trade.

Lifting the HC cap, tougher vehicle spec and a green and white livery. I'm sure the HC trade will be cock-a-hoop at the 'help' being offered via this triple whammy ](*,)

Quote:
The number of Hackney Carriage drivers has fallen from 357 to 315 in the past two years, with the number of private hire drivers falling from 801 to 667.

So this is definitely driver numbers rather than vehicles? Would hardly be the first time to see the two confused.

And, in the context of HC vehicle numbers and lifting the cap, it would be instructive to disclose the actual cap number. But according to someone in the comments, there's 10 'spare' plates.

So that, together with the tougher vehicle spec and livery, maybe suggests that lifting the cap wouldn't make any practical difference :?

Quote:
Cllr Riley added: “The colours are distinctive, they are Plymouth’s colours and promote pride and professionalism. We are proposing a gradual move to this new livery so that drivers and operators won’t be hit too hard financially.”

So does any HC proprietor or driver actually want this 'professional' livery? And would it make any of them feel more proud and professional? :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 6:45 pm 
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ahhhhh... all the cars will have to match Plymouth Argylls' home kit how patriotic

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:55 pm 
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Quote:
Ideas outlined include:

· Removing the limit on the number of hackney carriages and extending the period of time that drivers can return to the trade to three years without having to complete the drivers’ test and knowledge test.

My views on limits are well known.

Quote:
· An enhanced age and emissions policy to clean up the current taxi fleet and work towards achieving the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan by 2030.

Not convinced this proposal is going to encourage anyone back into the trade as it has huge cost consequences. Even though I support the aim.

Quote:
· A coloured livery taxi fleet of a specified green and white. This is would be for newly plated vehicles only although from 2027 all taxis would be expected to have this livery.

I do think this makes sense, but again it has cost consequences.

Quote:
· All hackney carriages must take card payments – most taxis and private hire vehicles do this, but this move will help passengers to get home safely and not worry about getting cash to pay their cab home.

100% agree with the above.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:45 pm 
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On the Licensing Register in Plymouth right now 2120hrs 19 November 2021.

Hackney Vehicles, 306.

Hackney Drivers, 316.

Private Hire Vehicles, 615.

Private Hire Drivers, 635.

I don't care or know about PH but I estimate circa 40 Hackney's which are normally rented to Drivers are off the road.

Drivers are outnumbering Cabs by 10 - but I don't know any that are sharing. I shouldn't think PH Drivers are sharing either, so that's another 20.

From the figures in the Paper PH Drivers have further reduced by 32, not a clue what date the Paper got the figures.

Seems to me if PCC want to encourage more to join the Trade(s) they are actually failing and are losing even more. Putting financial obstacles in the way will encourage out, not in.

The consultation only comes out next week, from the little advance knowledge I have gleaned, there is a battle we have to have.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:16 pm 
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Thanks for the figures, Chris, but maybe that's another rabbit hole it's unwise to go down :-o

But, of course, the way the system works means there's always likely to be a few unused badges and plates shown in the stats as drivers leave the trade but their licences don't expire till some time later.

And, while I don't know about Plymouth, if the norm is three-year badges but one-year plates, then the badge figure will tend to exaggerate the number of *working* licences more than the plate figures. (And, historically at least, HC and PHV numbers would differ further for comparison purposes because if HCs are quotaed then unlikely to be any dormant plates shown in the official stats, but more likely to be dormant PHV plates in the numbers.)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:17 pm 
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But interesting how rare shared cars seem to be down in Plymouth.

When I worked in Dundee, two/three drivers per HC was common, and I'd guess only a minority of cars were 'singled'.

When I started in St Andrews, think I was only the second singled car in the area out of mabye 50 in total, although singled cars are a lot more common here now.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 7:48 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
But interesting how rare shared cars seem to be down in Plymouth.

When I worked in Dundee, two/three drivers per HC was common, and I'd guess only a minority of cars were 'singled'.

When I started in St Andrews, think I was only the second singled car in the area out of mabye 50 in total, although singled cars are a lot more common here now.

In times gone there used to be about 3 HC drivers to HCs.

Now it's down to about 1.5 drivers to cabs, which is miffing off the multi-plate owners.

Most of this is, IMO, down to Uber. In that drivers are working PH on Uber for good money and not paying someone to sit at home. This is also, partly, leading to plate values more than halving in the last 5 years.

How times change.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:30 pm 
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Plymouth taxi driver says council's plan to increase city cabs 'won't work'

A Plymouth taxi driver has blasted the council after they revealed their plans to bolster the cabbie trade in the city.

The taxi driver, who wishes to stay anonymous, has been a cabby in Plymouth since 2003 and says the lack of taxi drivers is a similar situation to the lorry driver demand.

Last week, Plymouth City Council revealed plans to help boost the number of drivers in the city as well as making taxi's safer and greener - quite literally.

The new plans involved scrapping the cap on the number of hackney carriages Plymouth can have on the streets.

Currently the cap stands at 346 drivers but the number of taxi drivers in the city has fallen to 315 in the past two years with Covid-19 playing a huge part in that.

The new proposals will also aim to encourage cabbies and operators to go greener with a phased approach to make the city's fleet either new or electric.

A new green livery is also among the plans which is hoped will give people confidence that they are hailing a properly licensed and approved cab.

However, these new ideas haven't gone down well with one taxi driver who says the proposals "simply won't work".

Discussing the cap on taxi drivers being taken away he said: "At the moment we are limited to approximately 360 [346] plates for licensed taxis in Plymouth.

"Over the last 18 months we have lost many drivers, retired, returned home to EU, or left to do other jobs.

"For some reason they think that de-limiting plate numbers will increase drivers, remember that they already have lots of plates that have been handed back that they can’t give out because nobody wants to the job."

In response to the concerns raised on removing the cap, a spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: "Removing the limit would ensure that drivers can join the profession whenever they wish. The limit is currently 346 and unused plates are extinguished as demand for their services fall.

"At the moment a taxi driver who wishes to leave the profession but then return, cannot without buying or renting a plated vehicle from another person. A private hire driver can licence a vehicle at any time.

"The Department for Transport does not consider quantity restrictions on taxis best practice."

A consultation opens tomorrow which will see several proposals discussed and the council has said it is happy to clarify these further and to "stop people getting the wrong end of the stick".

A council spokesperson added: "Everyone has a view on our taxis and we would encourage anyone interested – not just drivers and operators – but passengers, people who want to get home after a night out to give their views."

The disgruntled taxi driver believes the plan to make the fleet go "green" is also a mistake with him saying many taxi drivers will either be unable to afford the prices of new vehicles, manufacturers being unable to meet demand or many drivers opting for retirement over upgrading their vehicle.

He also points out that there are very few charging points around the city and as he lives in a terrace house he is unable to fit a wall charger to his home.

The cabby said: "As I live in a terrace house I would be unable to obtain the grant for a wall charger as do not have off road parking. There are currently only about five 50kw chargers spread out over the whole of Plymouth.

"When you take that all into consideration and then factor in that approximately 80 drivers are over 60, most of whom will retire rather than upgrade, and the majority of drivers are over 50 you can see that there won’t be more drivers but actually I can foresee that there will be at least 100 less.

"Also you have the problem that a lot of drivers won’t be able to obtain finance for various reasons. Some weeks ago I ordered a brand new vehicle, Mercedes Vito EU6 at a cost of £37,500.

"It’ll cost me £675 per month for five years. Believe it or not this was the cheapest available. The fords are over £40,000.

"I could purchase a new London cab, electric with a range extender engine but the last finance offer I received was for a £3,500 deposit, £900 per month for five years with a £19,000 balloon payment at the end of five years.

"I decided against that option as it was too expensive.

"There is the added issue with supply chains and waiting lists. The vehicle manufacturing industry reckon it’ll be at least two years before a return to normal operations.

"A company based in Crewe that takes vehicles and converts them ordered Renault Traffic vans to convert in May for delivery October to November. I was told when I contacted them that they’d not even had confirmation that they’d been built yet.

"So, as you can see it’s great to have all these ideas but when it comes down to it they’d be better off waiting."

Defending the proposal to encourage taxi drivers to make the move to eco-friendly vehicles the council's spokesperson said making the move to electric or new taxis wouldn't happen overnight.

They said: "Like every other industry and household, we need to make sure the fleet is as eco-friendly as possible.

"This does not happen overnight and the policy proposal does not say all vehicles have to be new or electric. We know this is an expense which is why we are looking at a phased approach. We need to improve emission standards of the current fleet so that we can meet our climate emergency targets.

"The proposals require all vehicles plated for the first time (including change of vehicle) to be less than three years old and to meet the Euro 6 specification.

"We are not asking taxi drivers to buy electric vehicles. However, we would encourage drivers to consider these vehicles in the future as there are a number of benefits such as reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

"Drivers can attend a free online training course provided by the Energy Savings Trust on 2 or 7 December. The course will also outline charging points that are being planned for the city.

"For further details email taxi.licensing@plymouth.gov.uk."

The new livery plans also didn't go down well with this taxi driver who said it "doesn't really need to happen" as the fleet already has a 100 per cent wheelchair accessible fleet with orange lights on the roof which differentiates Hackney Carriages and private hire cabs.

The council's spokesperson said the new livery had been proposed after Taxi Association had raised the point the Hackney Carriages look the same as Private Hire vehicles because of the type of vehicles that can be used for both.

The spokesperson continued by saying: "While the taxi light is a distinguishing sign for taxis, the travelling public do not always understand the difference between private hire and hackney carriage or taxis.

"A bright livery would be easily recognisable and distinguishable from a private hire vehicle especially for visitors. Other councils have found this has led to increased consumer confidence and is important for the tourist trade and travelling public.

"A livery would give passengers confidence that the taxi is properly licensed and meets the necessary safety standards."

The anonymous taxi driver has asked all cabbies to fill in the consultation paper which should be emailed to them with reasons as to why the proposals are a bad idea.

Plymouth City Council has also encouraged members of the public to join in on the consultation, saying "everyone has a view on our taxis".

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:32 pm 
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I suspect one of the reasons behind this is the necessity to undertake a SUD survey every three years, at a cost of £25,000 plus each time.

If they have plates to issue now, doesn't make too much sense restricting. :-k

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:12 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I suspect one of the reasons behind this is the necessity to undertake a SUD survey every three years, at a cost of £25,000 plus each time.

If they have plates to issue now, doesn't make too much sense restricting. :-k

Got the impression from this below that surrendered plates weren't being reissued. Although not clear if anyone actually wants one.

But, of course, a lot of this kind of stuff is pretty much uncharted territory.

Quote:
In response to the concerns raised on removing the cap, a spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: "Removing the limit would ensure that drivers can join the profession whenever they wish. The limit is currently 346 and unused plates are extinguished as demand for their services fall.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:27 pm 
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If that is the case then the council are partly causing the problem they are complaining about.

Reissue those plates and see what’s what in a years time.

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