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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2022 9:40 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
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.

As we work on set prices and not meters, if a customer wants to change their booking it must be done through the office. This means that a new price is calculated and the new destinations are sent to the car. if the driver isn't sure then they just press navigate and follow the route.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:21 pm 
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Price competition in taxi fares

10.4 Taxi fare tariffs are a maximum, and in principle are open to downward negotiation
between passenger and driver. It is not good practice to encourage such negotiations
at ranks, or for on-street hailing; there would be risks of confusion and security
problems

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:42 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
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.



It is not the drivers responsibility to fight vehicle fires it is the fire brigades.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:43 pm 
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11. Taxi ranks and roadside infrastructure

11.8 Authorities should also work with the operators of facilities served by a high volume
of private hire vehicles to ensure that safe spaces are provided for drivers to collect
passengers, without requiring them to navigate busy car parks alone.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 4:47 pm 
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12.Taxi zones

12.1 The areas of some local licensing authorities are divided into two or more zones for
taxi licensing purposes. Drivers may be licensed to ply for hire in one zone only.
Zones may exist for historical reasons, perhaps because of local authority boundary
changes.
12.2 The Department recommends the abolition of these zones. This would chiefly benefit
the travelling public. Zoning tends to diminish the supply of taxis and the scope for
customer choice – for example, if 50 taxis were licensed overall by a local authority,
but only 25 of them were entitled to ply for hire in each zone. It can be confusing and
frustrating for people wishing to hire a taxi to find that a vehicle licensed by the
relevant local authority is nonetheless unable to pick them up (unless pre-booked)
because they are in the wrong part of the local authority area. Abolition of zones can
also reduce costs for the local authority, for example through simpler administration
and enforcement. It can also promote fuel efficiency, because taxis can pick up a
passenger anywhere in the local authority area, rather than having to return empty to
their licensed zone after dropping a passenger in another zone.


You have to wonder about the utter stupidity of drivers all licensed as hackneys by the same authority not being able to ply in the whole area of that authority. :-k

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:32 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
Sussex wrote:
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.



It is not the drivers responsibility to fight vehicle fires it is the fire brigades.

That is exactly what our Council were eventually told by the fire service which led to the condition being dropped from our policy.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 11:25 am 
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Got the same sorted here 18 years ago Grandad.

I am strongly of the opinion "get everyone out and let the Bugger Burn". Insurance covers the loss. Put it out and insurance won't cover repair in full.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdlyi5mc ... re=related


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 12:17 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
Sussex wrote:
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.



It is not the drivers responsibility to fight vehicle fires it is the fire brigades.


I seem to recall a post on here ages ago which implied the Insurance companies won't pay out if you attempted to extinguish your own vehicle fire and it was in your best interest to let your vehicle burn to a crisp.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:54 pm 
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I recall it too.

Pretty sure I wrote it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:38 pm 
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Interesting article from PHTM this month.

https://content.yudu.com/web/43sy4/0A43 ... tml?page=1

A fella from the IoL (pages 6-9) gives his view.

Some of it I agree with, other bits I don't, but he makes a good point about the DfT biggin up 'public safety' and how that conflicts with the mass licensing of drivers/vehicles who work many miles from their licensing authority.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 10:10 am 
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Not sure if there's anything particularly earth shattering here, and it's a longish read. But unlike yesterday's stuff on disabilities, this one's fairly straightforward.

But I suppose that to make total sense of it all requires you to read the best practice guidance document 8-[


DPTAC response to taxi and private hire vehicle best practice guidance consultation 2022

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... ation-2022

DPTAC’s response to the consultation

The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this draft best practice guidance for taxi and PHV licensing authorities in England.

We are pleased to see the extensive coverage of disabled people’s concerns in the guidance and of course hope that this will help to drive improvements in the quality of service that disabled people receive from taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers and operators.

Nevertheless, we are disappointed that the government is still not prepared to legislate on taxi and PHV licensing. There have been dramatic changes in the operating environment for this service over the past 25 years, particularly with the development of smartphones, yet there has been no significant legislation in this area since the 1970s.

During the same period, the expectations and experiences of disabled people have also changed substantially since the passage of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995. With so many areas of life more accessible for disabled people (including many transport services), it is a source of considerable disappointment that disabled people continue to report widespread problems with the refusal of service by drivers.

In significant parts of the country, there is almost no service available for wheelchair users who require a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

We are surprised that the guidance makes no mention of 2 areas where the government has said that it will introduce legislation. The commitment to amend Sections 165 to168 of the Equality Act 2010 concerning the provision of service to wheelchair users has now been implemented by the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022, a private members bill that was passed at the end of April 2022.

The guidance will need to be updated to take account of this legislation. The passage of this legislation makes it even more important that all drivers and the staff of PHV operators receive disability awareness training in order to understand and comply with the duties of the Act.

It may be helpful to make this point to reinforce the message about the importance of Licensing Authorities making the training mandatory for all drivers.

The government has also announced its intention to legislate to introduce national minimum standards to underpin the licensing regime. It would seem a good way to strengthen the impact of this best practice guide if it were to indicate where the government is minded to set minimum standards. This would indicate to licensing authorities that do not currently reach this standard where they need to be improving their current licensing policy.

DPTAC advisers would like it to be made clear that these standards must include mandatory disability awareness training for all drivers as this will help to strengthen the recommendation in paragraph 6.3 that such training should be provided.

This is particularly important as over half of licensing authorities do not currently require this training. The Department for Transport (DfT) 2021 taxi and private hire vehicle statistics for England put this figure as 51% for taxi drivers and 54% for private hire vehicle drivers.

The guidance highlights one of DPTAC’s concerns about the current licensing regime, that it contains very limited tools to drive improvements in driver and operator behaviour. The sanctions available for drivers who fail to deliver an acceptable standard of service consist of temporary suspension of their license or its permanent revocation.

These are very harsh sanctions resulting in significant loss of income and can only really be used in the case of very serious misconduct. There are no lesser sanctions that can be used to deter behaviour that is poor but does not justify the suspension of a license. Moreover, unlike other transport sectors, there is no provision for payment of compensation to a disabled person who received poor service nor any simple redress mechanism that offers consumers the chance to pursue their claim without the need to go to court.

Currently, individual complaints arising from the harm individuals have experienced can only be resolved by those individuals bringing their own complaints to the business or licensing authority concerned and if that fails to pursue any claim through the courts. Making it easy for consumers to pursue complaints and to seek redress serves both to encourage disabled people to lodge complaints thereby increasing the wealth of data about consumer experience, and also serves to drive up standards of behaviour.

The lack of any alternative to the courts for any passenger wishing to complain means that complaints about poor service generally and discrimination, in particular, go unresolved. The level of complaints from disabled people that are generated by failures in the taxi and PHV sector to provide the services and support disabled passengers need is high but may only be the tip of the iceberg.

It also appears that many passengers are not aware of their rights, do not know where to complain or do not have a simple redress mechanism available to them and so do not pursue their complaint. This led to a lack of data so the true picture of the passenger experience cannot be known, and it means that there is no incentive on taxis and PHVs to improve their services.

We note in section 5 of the guidance that some licensing authorities operate a points-based system that allows minor breaches to be recorded. This seems to us to be a sensible course of action within the current limited powers of licensing authorities. However, it does not really address the concerns we raise above, particularly in encouraging disabled people to complain about poor service. We acknowledge that any solution to this issue will require primary legislation.

Turning to the text in detail, DPTAC makes the following observations.

We welcome the inclusion of Part 4 on accessibility. It is right to see the emphasis given to the importance of taxi and PHV services for disabled people. We think that it would help to also include in this section the expectation that drivers receive disability awareness training as set out in paragraph 6.3.

We also think that this section of the guidance should include some of the material defining wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in paragraphs 8.58 to 8.65. It is important that those reading the guidance understand the distinction between a vehicle in which a wheelchair user can travel while seated in their own chair, and one where that is not possible and they are required to transfer out of their wheelchair onto the vehicle’s seating.

It should also point out that there are some disabled people who struggle to board WAVs as noted in paragraph 8.61. It is important to highlight that for those people who cannot transfer out of their wheelchair, transport options are very limited.

In many cases, the only alternative to a WAV taxi or PHV is for the disabled person to purchase their own bespoke wheelchair accessible vehicle. Such vehicles are expensive and the disabled person may frequently require assistance to use it, undermining the independence they might gain by choosing to use a taxi or PHV.

DPTAC welcomes the material in paragraphs 4.6 to 4.13 which provides a sound basic introduction to the social model of disability as it applies to taxi and PHV services. It may be that some organisation or individuals will question the text because it does not always explain how services can create barriers to access for particular impairments as they might like to see it put across.

Nevertheless, we recognise and support the intentions of this text. What is crucial however is that the text acknowledges that it is no substitute for good disability awareness training.

DPTAC welcomes the concept of an Inclusive Service Plan set out in paragraphs 4.17 to 4.21. We suggest that it would be helpful to licensing authorities if there is an additional annex to the guidance which includes suggestions for how to conduct an assessment of demand for WAVs.

It is important to recognise that disabled people will develop coping strategies to manage in areas where there is a minimal provision of WAVs. The majority may not express demand for WAVs, as they have already found ways of managing the situation such as significantly reducing the amount they travel or by purchasing their own bespoke WAV.

Useful information may be obtained from hospitals and care homes. If care homes have chosen to purchase a minibus to transport residents because of the lack of WAVs that would be an indication of unmet demand. Similarly, if hospitals report long delays in obtaining WAVs and even using the non-emergency ambulance service to discharge patients, this could also point to unmet demands for WAVs.

We have already said how important DPTAC believes it to be that all drivers receive disability awareness training as set out in paragraph 6.3. We believe that such training should be mandatory for all personnel involved in the licensing process.

We endorse the recommendation that front of house staff should be trained in paragraph 7.3, but back office staff also require this knowledge to understand why there will be occasions when front of house staff have to give extra time to dealing with some disabled customers.

We also believe that all the staff of the licensing authority should receive such training. This should give them an understanding of the barriers which disabled people face when accessing taxi and PHV services so they can better appreciate what might have given rise to a complaint against a driver. Councillors on the Licensing Committee also need this understanding, particularly when assessing the seriousness of a complaint against a driver and the impact the driver’s behaviour may have had on a disabled passenger.

DPTAC believes that there should be a minimum standard for vehicle licensing (paragraph 8.2) which ensures that all vehicles must be able to carry a folded wheelchair or walking aid. It would be quite unacceptable that a wheelchair user is unable to use a vehicle because their chair cannot be folded and carried in the boot. The boot space should also be sufficient to carry some luggage as well as the wheelchair so that the passenger does not have to travel with their shopping balanced on their lap.

DPTAC is also concerned about the recommendation (paragraph 8.34) that where a partition is fitted the front seat should be taken out of service. For many disabled passengers, the additional leg room available in the front seat is essential for them to get into and out of the vehicle. Requiring them to travel in the back seats could make a vehicle inaccessible for them with the outcome of reducing the availability of taxi and PHV services still further.

If for reasons of safeguarding it is judged desirable to take the front seat out of service, there should always be an opportunity for a driver to permit it to be used to accommodate the needs of a disabled passenger.

DPTAC hopes that our comments on the draft guidance are helpful and would be happy to work with DfT staff to help address some of our comments on the drafting of the guidance.

Lastly, we suggest that there are occasions when the guidance should also highlight concerns for people with other protected characteristics. There is some reference to being aware of the position of women who may be vulnerable, but this might be expanded in places. In addition, race is an issue with attacks on both drivers and passengers and licensing authorities should take account of these risks in their work.

About disability in the UK

Disability affects some 14 million people in the UK. It includes physical and sensory impairments as well as ‘non-visible’ disabilities such as autism, dementia, learning disabilities and anxiety.

For many people, a lack of mobility or confidence in using the transport system is a barrier to being able to access employment, education, health care, broader commercial opportunities and a social life.

Many people become disabled in later life, with an estimated 46% of pension-age adults living with an impairment.

About DPTAC

DPTAC was established by the Transport Act 1985 and is the government’s statutory advisor on issues relating to transport provision for disabled people. DPTAC’s vision is that disabled people should have the same access to transport as everybody else, to be able to go where everyone else goes and to do so easily, confidently and without extra cost.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:12 pm 
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Quote:
Nevertheless, we are disappointed that the government is still not prepared to legislate on taxi and PHV licensing.

Welcome to our world. [-(

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2023 7:26 pm 
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Looks like we will be getting said best practice guidance before the end of the year.

https://www.parallelparliament.co.uk/qu ... -licensing

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