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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2021 5:16 pm 
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Dear Drivers
RE: TEST PURCHASES
We have recently been conducting test purchases on taxi drivers following a series of complaints regarding different issues. One of the most frequent complaints is taxi meters not being used correctly and customers being overcharged.
Thank you to those drivers who passed the test, they have been notified directly.
However, our test purchases have highlighted a few issues which are being addressed, can I please remind you of a few things which are causing problems right now.
Hackney drivers must use the correct meter setting when taking a journey within the Borough. Even if you think you know what the fare will be, your meter must be used.
Meters cannot be started until the passenger enters the vehicle.
Drivers must display their badge at all times when working. This could be mounted on the dash near the radio area so it can be seen from the rear of the vehicle, or worn on the outside of drivers clothing so it is visible to passengers
A complaints card must be displayed in every vehicle.
Hackney vehicles must display a table of fares.
If you are in any doubt about any of the rules please refer to the Melton Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy https://www.melton.gov.uk/licensing/bus ... licensing/ or speak to the licensing team.
Further test purchases will be taking place and action will be taken if necessary.
Kind regards

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2021 8:53 pm 
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Quote:
Meters cannot be started until the passenger enters the vehicle.

Maybe from a street hiring, but not necessarily from an office job.

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:27 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Meters cannot be started until the passenger enters the vehicle.

Maybe from a street hiring, but not necessarily from an office job.

Our licensing insist that the meter can't be turned on until the customers are in the car. The question has been asked several times regarding a booking for say 19.00 and the customer does not get in until 19.15 and they insist that the meter does not go on until the passenger is in the car. they also say that we can't charge waiting time in such circumstances even though we insist that this is when waiting time should be charged.

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 7:41 am 
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Am I surprised your licensing team have that flawed view?

Not in the slightest.

Must be very nice for them earning their money in the comfort of their front rooms.

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 8:25 am 
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I would formally ask the licensing team for the reasoning behind that view i.e. legal cases or legal opinion. Or is this a case of an officer taking that flawed view many years ago and existing sheep merely following that lead.

Also ask what happens when you pick someone up who want to go somewhere to do something and then return back. Does the meter go off when the customer is out of the car? If not what’s the difference?

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 9:30 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Or is this a case of an officer taking that flawed view many years ago and existing sheep merely following that lead.


Absolutely hit the nail on the head.
In England, can a Hackney take pre booked private hire bookings without an operators license or is it a pre booked hackney journey? Assuming it is within the borough.

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:52 am 
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I would say it’s a pre booking being undertaken by a Hackney carriage.

No operator license is required.

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:59 am 
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55 Agreement to pay more than the legal fare No agreement whatever made with the
driver, or with any person having or pretending to have the care of any such hackney
carriage, for the payment of more than the fare allowed by any byelaw made under this or
the special Act, shall be binding on the person making the same; and any such person
may, notwithstanding such agreement, refuse, on discharging such hackney carriage, to
pay any sum beyond the fare allowed as aforesaid; and if any person actually pay to the
driver of any such hackney carriage, whether in pursuance of any such agreement or
otherwise, any sum exceeding the fare to which such driver was entitled, the person
paying the same shall be entitled, on complaint made against such driver before any
justice of the peace, to recover back the sum paid beyond the proper fare, and moreover
such driver shall be liable to a penalty for such exaction not exceeding [level 3 on the
standard scale]; and in default of the repayment by such driver of such excess of fare, or
of payment of the said penalty, such justice shall forthwith commit such driver to prison,
there to remain for any time not exceeding one month, unless the said excess of fare and
the said penalty be sooner paid.
Amendment
Maximum penalty increased and converted to a level on the standard scale by the Criminal
Justice Act 1982, ss 37, 39,46, Sch 3. Modified, in relation to the taxi code, by the Licensed
Taxis (Hiring at Separate Fares) Order 1986, SI 1986/1386, art 4


Ask to see the Byelaw that Empowers them

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 3:48 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Maybe from a street hiring, but not necessarily from an office job.

I try to take a common sense approach, and normally don't set the meter running until everyone's in and ready to go.

But if, for example, at the station and after a two hour rank wait you load someone's luggage into the boot, but their friend has gone to the ticket office or shop to query something or buy food, and they don't actually get in for five to ten minutes (pretty unusual, but similar things do happen), I'd generally start the meter running after a reasonable period.

When I worked for offices I'd usually give them a few minutes after the booking time, but of course it all depends on the length of the job etc. Ten minutes isn't too much on a two-hour airport run, but maybe different on a short trip on the flagfall, which was one mile here when I started :-o

But, of course, it's potentially fraught with difficulty, as quite a few articles on here demonstrate. And which the bureaucrats in Melton might not appreciate, but if they're saying you should wait for ages without putting on the meter then they're effectively putting drivers in danger, in my opinion at least, because I don't think it's unreasonable to activate the meter after a reasonable period of time.


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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 3:48 pm 
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Grandad wrote:
The question has been asked several times regarding a booking for say 19.00 and the customer does not get in until 19.15 and they insist that the meter does not go on until the passenger is in the car.

They haven't seriously said that? Ask them precisely how long a driver would be expected to wait without activating the meter.

And ask them precisely what happened in this regard during the test purchase exercise.


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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 5:49 pm 
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68 Byelaws for regulating hackney carriages The commissioners may from time to
time (subject to the restrictions of this and the special Act) make byelaws for all or any of
the purposes following; (that is to say,)
For regulating the conduct of the proprietors and drivers of hackney carriages
plying within the prescribed distance in their several employments, and determining
whether such drivers shall wear any and what badges, and for regulating the hours within
which they may exercise their calling:
For regulating the manner in which the number of each carriage, corresponding
with the number of its licence, shall be displayed:
For regulating the number of persons to be carried by such hackney carriages, and
in what manner such number is to be shown on such carriage, and what number of horses
or other animals is to draw the same, and the placing of check strings to the carriages, and
the holding of the same by the driver, and how such hackney carriages are to be furnished
or provided:
For fixing the stands of such hackney carriages, and the distance to which they
may be compelled to take passengers, not exceeding the prescribed distance:
For fixing the rates or fares, as well for time as distance, to be paid for such
hackney carriages within the prescribed distance, and for securing the due publication of
such fares;
For securing the safe custody and re-delivery of any property accidentally left in
hackney carriages, and fixing the charges to be made in respect thereof.
Modification
Modified, in relation to the taxi code, by the Licensed Taxis (Hiring at Separate Fares) Order
1986, SI 1986/13 86, art 4

Hackneys are governed by bylaws

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 Post subject: Re: self explanatory.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2021 6:42 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I would say it’s a pre booking being undertaken by a Hackney carriage.

No operator license is required.

Now this is what I would have assumed but the wording that was sent out the other day suggests that a pre booking by a hackney is a private hire. So the hackneys take this as meaning that they can charge what they like even if the job is in the borough.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2021 8:46 am 
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grandad wrote:
Drivers must display their badge at all times when working. This could be mounted on the dash near the radio area so it can be seen from the rear of the vehicle, or worn on the outside of drivers clothing so it is visible to passengers.

Looks like Melton are getting drivers to commit an offence.

54 Issue of drivers' badges (1) When granting a driver's licence under section 51 of this Act a district council shall issue a driver's badge in such a form as may from time to time be prescribed by them.
(2)
(a) A driver shall at all times when acting in accordance with the driver's
licence granted to him wear such badge in such position and manner as
to be plainly and distinctly visible.
(b) If any person without reasonable excuse contravenes the provisions of
this subsection, he shall be guilty of an offence.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2021 12:35 pm 
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This has been discussed with them before but the argument put forward by drivers was that if the badge is being worn then it is more difficult to see than if it is displayed. the Council accepted this and now, as you say, some drivers are technically committing an offence but as it would be the Council who would prosecute such an offence it is not likely that they would.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:21 pm 
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grandad wrote:
This has been discussed with them before but the argument put forward by drivers was that if the badge is being worn then it is more difficult to see than if it is displayed. the Council accepted this and now, as you say, some drivers are technically committing an offence but as it would be the Council who would prosecute such an offence it is not likely that they would.


Why not issue 2 badges, one to be worn by the driver the other to be displayed in the vehicle.

Councils have no control over how a private operator sets their charges for hire of private hire vehicle they supply, this is fact and a person in your position should let them know through the legal department of your Council.


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