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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:25 am 
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New Swindon taxi rule may mean no passengers in the front seat

https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/new ... ront-seat/

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Swindon railway station (Image: Swindon Advertiser)

Passengers who hail a taxi on the streets of Swindon may no longer be allowed to sit in the front with the driver if new rules are agreed.

Councillors on the borough council’s licensing committee will consider a proposal to formalise the existing practice where licensed hackney carriages – taxis that can be hailed or pick up passengers from a rank in the street – may not carry passengers ahead of the divider between the main compartment and the driver.

The report which will be presented to the committee on Friday says: “The principle behind the licensing of hackney carriage vehicles is not only one of public safety, but also of driver safety.

"Based on this, the authority has continued to restrict the licence to fare paying passengers sitting behind the partition. This practice has been in place as an implied restriction since 1989 but for clarity it is now proposed that it become a specific clear condition attached to each licence.”

The committee meeting will begin at 6pm on Friday at the council chamber.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:28 am 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but am assuming this is all about van conversions and the like (Vitos/E7s etc) so presumably could lose up to two passengers?

Quote:
"Based on this, the authority has continued to restrict the licence to fare paying passengers sitting behind the partition. This practice has been in place as an implied restriction since 1989 but for clarity it is now proposed that it become a specific clear condition attached to each licence.”


This doesn't make sense - the council has 'continued to restrict', but it's actually been an implied restriction?

Maybe the council papers explain that a bit more fully, but I can't be bothered looking for them. But that definitely sounds contradictory to me :?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:16 pm 
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If it's been an implied restriction how many passengers are listed of the HC's Plate? If it says 8 then they've been ignoring their own rules.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:30 pm 
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Karga wrote:
If it's been an implied restriction how many passengers are listed of the HC's Plate? If it says 8 then they've been ignoring their own rules.


Indeed, that would be indicate the crux of the issue.

But suspect council here just trying to make a problem look like it's as little their fault as possible, the end result being that they're avoiding the nitty gritty and making it sound confusing to the likes of us :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but am assuming this is all about van conversions and the like (Vitos/E7s etc) so presumably could lose up to two passengers?

Correct.

Absolute madness. Would have been better to allow drivers to refuse customers in the front, rather than ban them full stop.

Nanny state alive and well in Swindon.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:57 am 
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Taxi rules change allowing passengers in the front

https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/new ... ers-front/

Taxi driver Keith Radway accused a senior Swindon councillor of not being “a friend to democracy” as he was kicked out of a meeting of the borough council’s licensing committee.

He was asked to leave by chairman Vera Tomlinson for interrupting as councillors debated a change in the licensing regulations of hackney carriages – taxis that can be hailed or picked up at a rank.

But eventually the drivers who had attended the meeting went away happy.

Councillors voted to allow them to carry fares in the front seat.

The authority’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton had advised against such a change. She said: “The partition is there as a safety measure to keep both passengers and driver secure.”

But drivers were lobbying to be allowed to carry fares up front.

They had asked for the meeting to be called after rules were changed in July to prevent it.

Ms Ashton said: “That came to my attention in July - but it is unlawful.

"We have licensed a taxi for the number of seats in the back, and it isn’t lawful to carry more passengers, for whatever type of journey, than the plate lists.”

Drivers said this threatened their livelihoods.

Andrew Lucas said: “I don’t understand why it’s so much more unsafe to have a passenger in the front of my purpose-built, wheelchair accessible seven-seat taxi, than it is for them to travel in an ordinary saloon car for private hire.

“A lot of drivers have bought new vehicles to be wheelchair accessible, they cost between £35,000 and £50,000 and we have contracts for private hire work where we have to carry people in the front.

“If we have to go back on those legal contracts people will lose their businesses. We’d like the situation to at least stay the same, or be improved, so we can carry any passenger in the front.”

Before his ejection Mr Radway told councillors: “We have been doing this for 22 years in custom and practice. If a vehicle has eight seats, we’d like to be able to carry eight passengers. It would be wrong to take this away from us after 22 years.”

Councillors twice decided against adjourning for further consultations, arguing that drivers livelihoods were at stake, and were bemused that Swindon’s regulations were much more stringent than neighbouring councils, such as Wiltshire.

Coun Garry Perkins said: “I advise you drivers to get licensed in Wiltshire and come and work here in Swindon.”

Ms Ashton told councillors if they voted to allow cabs to be licensed for as many passengers as there are seats, that would apply to all hackney carriages with no exceptions.

She said: “I’ve done taxi rank marshalling and no drivers want anyone in the front with them on a Friday or Saturday night.”

The drivers’ disagreement was so noisy that Con Tomlinson felt compelled to ask Mr Radway to leave.

Eventually councillors voted by seven to one with two abstentions, to allow all hackney carriages to carry passengers in the front seat on any type of journey, pre-booked or not.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:01 am 
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Swindon's licensing manager wrote:
“That came to my attention in July - but it is unlawful.

"We have licensed a taxi for the number of seats in the back, and it isn’t lawful to carry more passengers, for whatever type of journey, than the plate lists.”


So for years Swindon HCDs have been carrying more passengers than they've been plated for 8-[

Clueless Swindon councillor wrote:
“I advise you drivers to get licensed in Wiltshire and come and work here in Swindon.”


Wiltshire-plated HCDs working the ranks in Swindon? Yes, that would go well :-s


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:49 pm 
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Quote:
"We have licensed a taxi for the number of seats in the back, and it isn’t lawful to carry more passengers, for whatever type of journey, than the plate lists.”

If only someone could come up with an idea like changing the plate to add another person. #-o

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:52 pm 
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Ms Ashton told councillors if they voted to allow cabs to be licensed for as many passengers as there are seats, that would apply to all hackney carriages with no exceptions.

She said: “I’ve done taxi rank marshalling and no drivers want anyone in the front with them on a Friday or Saturday night.”

What on earth do you think happens in 10s of 1000s of saloons throughout the country?

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