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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:02 pm 
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Taxi and private hire vehicle best practice guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... e-guidance

Consultation description

The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued best practice guidance on taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing since 2006 to assist local authorities that have responsibility for the regulation of this sector.

This has recently been updated to take into account stakeholder views and changes in the way the sector operates.

DfT is seeking views from the public, licensing authorities and the taxi and PHV industry on the proposed updated version.

Documents

Taxi and private hire vehicle: best practice guidance to assist local authorities

Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing: consulting on best practice guidance for licensing authorities in England

Ways to respond

Respond Online

Email to:

taxis@dft.gov.uk

Write to:

Department for Transport
Local Passenger Transport Division
Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Best Practice Guidance Consultation 2022
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2022 10:07 pm 
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Questions found in the consultation. https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/3ABP5T/

Consultation questions

DfT has carefully considered the recommendations proposed in the draft best practice guidance, but these are, of course, subject to change following this consultation.

While it is useful to have indications of the quantity of respondents that agree or disagree with these proposals, DfT wants to ensure that the final recommendations are informed by all available evidence and suggestions where these can be improved.

Most of the questions ask for quantifiable (agree, disagree or no opinion) and qualitative (comments) responses.

Ahead of the consultation questions, we would like to collect some information about you and your use of and/or role in the taxi and PHV trade. This information will be used to help to give context to the responses we receive from individuals and organisations.

Section 4 : accessibility

In your view, should licensing authorities introduce Inclusive Service Plans for taxis and PHVs?

Do you agree that licensing authorities should introduce the accessibility measures proposed in the best practice guidance?

In your view, are there any other measures licensing authorities should take to improve accessibility of taxis and PHVs?

Section 5: enforcing the licensing regime

Point-based enforcement systems
Do you agree that any points incurred through a points-based enforcement regime should remain on the record for 3 years for drivers from the date of the incident?

Do you agree that points incurred though a points-based enforcement regime should remain on the record for 5 years for PHV operators from the date of the incident?

Section 6: driver licensing

Driver proficiency
Do you agree licensing authorities should require taxi and PHV drivers, as professional drivers, to evidence a higher degree of driving ability than is required for private motorists?

Vocational training and assessment
Do you agree that licensing authorities should not require drivers to obtain a vocational qualification?

Topographical knowledge tests
In your view should a PHV driver be required to pass some form of topographical knowledge test?

If a PHV driver has to pass a topographical test, should this be the same test as a taxi driver? Or, should it evaluate the candidate’s ability to plan a route or safely use a navigation system?

Vehicle condition check
Do you agree licensing authorities should require drivers to conduct daily checks on their vehicle similar to the checklist provided?

What, if any, comments do you have on the vehicle condition checklist?

Section 8: vehicle licensing

Vehicle safety ratings
Do you agree licensing authorities should consider the safety benefits to passengers, drivers and pedestrians of vehicles which have received a higher Euro NCAP rating (where these have been assessed) when setting its vehicle requirements?

Seating capacity
Do you agree that each person, regardless of age, should be counted as a passenger?

Do you agree taxis and private hire vehicles should not be licensed to carry more people than the number of seats and seatbelts available?

Tinted windows
Do you agree that licensing authorities should only require the removal of ‘factory fitted’ tinted windows as part of vehicle specifications if it can evidence that this is necessary and proportionate?

Vehicle testing
Do you agree licensing authorities should, where possible, obtain details of vehicle tests, including failures?

Do you agree licensing authorities should require testing stations to provide the outcomes of all examinations carried out, including where vehicles were subject to advisory notices?

Vehicle age limits
Do you agree licensing authorities should not impose age limits for the licensing of vehicles?

Vehicle identification and signage
Do you agree licensing authorities should not permit roof signs of any kind on PHVs?

Do you agree that licensing authorities should not impose a livery requirement on PHVs?

Do you agree that private hire vehicle signage requirements should be limited to the authority licence plate or disc and a ‘pre-booked only’ door sign?

Do you agree that licensing authorities should not require the displaying of private hire vehicle operator details on vehicle?

Do you agree that when an exclusive relationship exists between the vehicle proprietor, driver and operator, licensing authorities should permit the display of private hire vehicle operator details in a discreet manner?

Do you agree with our suggested practice regarding the use of the words taxi or cab, as well as similar meaning words, for display on private hire vehicles?

Environmental considerations
Do you agree that taxis and private hire vehicle with internal combustion engines should be tested more frequently than annually?

Section 11: taxi rank provision

Do you agree that taxi rank provision should be reviewed every 3 years?

Annex B: model byelaws for Hackney carriages
What, if any, comments do you have on the model byelaws?

Annex F: sample notices between taxi driver or PHV driver and passenger
What, if any, comments do you have on the sample notices?

Annex G: staying safe – guidance for taxi drivers
What, if any, comments do you have on the staying safe guidance for taxi drivers?

Annex H: staying safe – guidance for the PHV trade
What, if any, comments do you have on the staying safe guidance for the private hire vehicle trade?

Annex I : useful questions when assessing taxi quantity controls
What, if any, comments do you have on the questions for assessing taxi quantity controls?

Final comments
Do you have any other comments?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 5:22 pm 
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No doubt everyone has read and digested the consultation document. :lol:

But as someone who nearly has I'm putting a few interesting clips up.

Points-based enforcement systems

5.15 It should be noted that reaching a points limit must not result in an automatic action
but should be used to trigger a review of the conduct of the licensee and whether
further action is necessary to address any concerns. Such action might be
undertaking additional training not just a suspension or revocation.


So unlike the way many councils are operating these kinds of schemes, the DfT is saying that just because someone gets top points shouldn't mean they automatically lose their license. The suggestion is that a review takes place and one of the options is to retrain the driver. That could be a new driving course or some kind of anger management/customer service course.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 5:32 pm 
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Vocational training and assessment

6.22 Vocational qualifications provide a ‘snapshot’ of learning as they are awarded based
on the curriculum of the course at the time it is taken. The training required of drivers
will naturally evolve over time and so a vocational qualification may need to be
supplemented with further training and assessment. An example of this is the
inclusion of ‘county lines’ awareness as part of safeguarding. Though the potential
benefits of increased customer service are noted, licensing authorities should not
require applicants for a licence to have obtained a vocational qualification.


Also in this consultation the DfT says that councils should have written and oral English tests for drivers. They also mention time and time again about disability awareness and safeguarding training. Alongside a knowledge test for taxi drivers.

So wouldn't the most sensible thing be to incorporate all those subjects under one vocational qualification for new entrants? In the same way many councils currently do?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 5:36 pm 
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Topographical knowledge

6.24 Private hire vehicles are not legally available for immediate hiring. To hire a private
hire vehicle the prospective passenger must go through an operator, so the driver will
have an opportunity to check the details of a route before starting a journey and plan
or enter it in a navigation system. Licensing authorities may set private hire vehicle
drivers a topographical test, but are not required to do so.


Just shows what little knowledge of the PH trade the DfT has.

It all seems to make sense, until a customer gets in the car and changes their mind, or the job becomes a multi-job, or heaven forbid the customer hasn't a clue about the name of the road, or heaven forbid part 2 the customer gives a wrong address.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 5:40 pm 
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Intended use

6.26 Licensing authorities should require an applicant for a taxi driver licence to declare
that they intend to work predominately within the licensing authority’s area. The
residential address provided by the application should be considered in assessing
the likelihood of this declaration being adhered to when assessing an application for
a taxi driver licence.


Interesting. Who would have thought that after 175 years of taxi licensing we finally get around to having a rule that leads drivers to actually work in the area to which they are licensed. (Shame that doesn't apply to the PH trade)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 6:26 pm 
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Vehicle condition check

6.28 A driver or responsible person should undertake a daily walkaround check before a
vehicle is used. These checks should be carried out before the vehicle is driven on
the road each day. Where more than one driver will use the vehicle during the day's
running, the driver taking charge of a vehicle should make sure it is roadworthy and
safe to drive by carrying out their own walkaround check.
6.29 Drivers should be required to retain the vehicle checklist as proof that they have
undertaken the required vehicle check. Drivers should be made aware that they may
be subject to sanctions if they are unable to produce this. Further sanctions may
result against them, as well as vehicle proprietors, if they are found using a defective
vehicle, especially if the condition of the vehicle is such that it is obvious no routine
checks have occurred over a number of days. An example checklist is provided at
Annex E.


The daily, sometimes more than daily, checks can be found on pages 84-87 in the consultation document. Yes three pages of checks which fall just short of a daily MOT test. Basically the DfT have gone stark raving bonkers.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 6:39 pm 
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Compliance with employment law

7.12 In the Department's view, where an employment tribunal or a court of law has ruled
on the employment status of a driver or drivers working for an operator, whether the
operator is complying with that decision in respect of the driver(s) referred to in the
ruling, should reasonably be considered by a licensing authority as part of the 'fit and
proper' test for a private hire vehicle operator.


What a novel suggestion, operator's not adhering to the law, in this case employment law, shouldn't be viewed as being 'fit and proper'.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 6:46 pm 
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Seating capacity

8.10 When considering the carriage of children, The London Cab Order 1934 (applying to
hackney cabs in London) states “in computing such number [i.e. the maximum
number of passengers that can be carried], an infant in arms shall not count as a
person and two children under 10 years of age shall count as one person.” While this
matter is not addressed in other taxi and private hire vehicle legislation, some local
authorities have used this approach when assessing if an excess number of
passengers have been carried.
8.12 Given the implications for the safety of passengers, the Department considers a
practical solution would be for taxis and private hire vehicles to carry no more people
than the number of seatbelts available, regardless of passenger age. Though rearfacing seats do not require a seatbelt, they often are equipped with one.


Amazed London cabs can take more passengers than actually stated on their plates. :-k

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2022 6:48 pm 
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Tinted windows

8.16 In the absence of evidence to show that a requirement for the removal of factory
fitted windows is necessary and proportionate, licensing authorities should not
require their removal as part of vehicle specifications. However, authorities should
carefully consider the views of the public and the trade when considering the
acceptance of ‘after-market’ tinting.


Sense at last prevails. How many times have we heard the myth about all these attacks that happen in licensed vehicles with heavily tinted windows? It's all made-up nonsense from stupid LOs.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 8:34 pm 
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Emergency equipment

8.19 The National Fire Chief Council (NFCC) recommend that licensing authorities require
fire extinguishers to be provided in vehicles, should ensure that suitable and
sufficient training is received by the drivers.
8.20 The NFCC’s advice is that if a licensing authority elects not to require drivers to
undertake training on the safe way to tackle a vehicle fire, vehicles should not be
required to carry fire extinguishers and drivers advised to get out and stay out of the
vehicle and call 999, rather than attempting to firefight.


So unless the council mandates fire extinguisher training, then they shouldn't be required in taxis and PHVs.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2022 8:39 pm 
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Vehicle age limits

8.29 Licensing authorities should not impose age limits for the licensing of vehicles but
should consider more targeted requirements to meet its policy objectives on
emissions, safety rating and increasing wheelchair accessible provision where this is
low.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:36 pm 
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Partitions in vehicles

8.34 The fitting of in-vehicle partitions must not cause the vehicle to be a danger to
anyone in the vehicle or on the road, in compliance with regulation 100 of the Road
Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. In order that the partition is
effective in providing a means to separate drivers and passengers, the front
passenger seat should not be included in the seating capacity of the vehicle licence
where a partition is fitted. Guidance published by the Department on the fitting of
screens for taxis and private hire vehicles to reduce the spread of COVID provides
advice on the design characteristics of screens newly installed in vehicles.


That will affect thousands of taxis and PHVs that have screens, yet allow customers to still sit in the front.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:41 pm 
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Vehicle identification and signage

8.41 Licensing authorities should not permit roof signs of any kind on private hire vehicles.
Regardless of the wording required on such a sign it is likely to increase awareness
of the vehicle and the likelihood of being mistaken for a taxi. This increases the
success of those illegally standing or plying for hire and may lead to confrontation
when private hire vehicle drivers refuse a request for a journey that has not been prebooked.
8.42 Licensing authorities should not impose a livery requirement on private hire vehicles.
The more distinctive a private hire vehicle is made to appear, the greater the chance
that this might be confused with a taxi. To assist the distinction further, licensing
authorities should prevent private hire vehicles from being the same colour as its
taxis, unless they are easily identifiable i.e. they are purpose-built vehicles as is the
case in many of our cities.
8.43 Licensing authorities’ private hire vehicle signage requirements should be limited to
the authority licence plate or disc and a “pre-booked only” door sign.
8.44 This approach enables passengers to be given the clear and consistent message
that you should only get in a vehicle that ‘looks like a taxi’ unless you have prebooked a private hire vehicle and have received information from the operator to identify it.
8.45 A private hire vehicle driver and proprietor are free to work with more than one
operator and licensing conditions or requirements that effectively tie a vehicle or
driver into an exclusive relationship with an operator should not be implemented or
should be discontinued where these are currently imposed. Examples of such
policies are a requirement for the private hire vehicle to display the name of the
operator under which it is operating by means of a permanent or semi-permanent
sign, or to require a driver to advise the operator who they intend to work for and
require notification in advance of any change.
8.46 Where an exclusive relationship exists between the vehicle proprietor, driver and
operator, a licensing authority should consider permitting the display of operator
details in a discreet manner so as to not undermine the overall objective of enabling
the public to differentiate easily between taxis and private hire vehicles. This might,
for example, be through small branding on the rear of the vehicle. Restrictions on the
use of terms which might lead to confusion among the public are detailed in section
64 of The Transport Act 1980 in respect of roof-signs, To assist the public in
differentiating taxis from private hire vehicles, similar restrictions should be applied to
all signage on private hire vehicles; signs which include the word “taxi” or ”cab”,
whether singular or plural, or any word of similar meaning or appearance to any of
those words, whether alone or as part of another word should not be permitted.


Not sure I agree with much of that, especially when one considers apps now tell everyone where a PHV is sitting and waiting for them.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:56 pm 
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Vehicle identification and signage (part 2)

8.47 Licensing authorities should only exempt the display of a licence plate by a private
hire vehicle in exceptional circumstances. ‘Executive hire’ services are licensed as
private hire vehicles and licensing authorities should assure themselves that, given
the signage on private hire vehicles will be negligible, there is sufficient justification to
exempt these vehicles from a requirement to display a small plate or disc in the
absence of an effective means to prevent the vehicle being used for ‘normal’ private
hire work.


I think too many drivers abuse the no plate rule. If you only do executive work, and for some strange reason customers feel inferior in a plated vehicle, then tough.

If you want to operate a licensed vehicle then it should be plated IMO.

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