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INTRODUCTION TO THE HACKNEY CARRIAGE, PRIVATE HIRE & OMNIBUS HANDBOOK
This Guide contains brief details of the relevant legislation and the full “Minimum Required Standards” Bye-laws, applicable to persons applying for and holding Hire and Reward licences issued by Sefton Council.
The Council has adopted the various policies and minimum standards set out in this document for the protection of the travelling public. Certain minimum standards of medical fitness and lack of criminal and motoring convictions are generally required. Any applicant that cannot match those minimum standards may still obtain a licence but must prove to the Council why they merit different standards being applied in their individual case. All licence holders are expected to understand and abide by the relevant parts of this document and also to carry this document in their hire and reward vehicle at all times. If Sefton Council has to take enforcement action against any applicant or licence holder then the Council reserves the right to produce this handbook to any Tribunal as evidence of knowledge of the standards required in relation to that matter.
Part 1. The Purpose and Aims of the Licensing Scheme
The licensing scheme is designed to protect the travelling public, including vulnerable children and adults, by ensuring that:
1. No person undertakes the carrying of passengers without the relevant licences and necessary checks on their fitness to carry the public;
2. All licensed drivers are “fit and proper” persons having regards to their medical fitness, standard of training, and their criminal and motoring convictions and offences (if any);
3. All licensed vehicles are at all times road legal, safe and fit for use and properly insured for hire and reward;
4. All licensed private hire operators are “fit and proper” to conduct such a business. As all contracts are made with these operators and they are responsible for accepting, recording and arranging these journeys. It is therefore essential that the private hire operator is properly accountable;
In addition the Council supervises the licensed trades to ensure compliance with the above purposes & aims. Regard will be given to Government advice & instructions then in force & enforcement action will be taken in accordance with the Council’s Enforcement Policy.
Part 2. Legislation & definitions applying to “Hackney Carriage & Private Hire” Licensing;
The Act of 1976 Means the Local Government(Misc. Provisions) Act of 1976
The Act of 1847 Means the Town Police Clauses Act 1847
The Council Means Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
The Operator Means the holder of a private hire operators licence issued under
Section 55 of the Act of 1976
Authorised Officer Has the same meaning as in Section 80 of the Act of 1976
Private Hire Vehicle Has the same meaning as in Section 80 of the Act of 1976
Hackney Carriage Has the same meaning as in Section 38 of the Town Police
Clauses Act 1847
Employ Means to use the services of, whether as an agent, under a contract of service (or for services) & employee, employer and employed shall be construed accordingly
Illegally ply for Hire Means to hold out or offer a vehicle and driver for hire to the
general public at large without holding the requisite licences under the 1847 Act licensing such activity
Lawfully undertake pre-bookings Means a licensed private hire driver using a licensed private hire vehicle to accept hires from their licensed private hire operator only and to undertake those bookings and receive the remuneration for those journeys.
Operate means to invite or accept bookings for hire and reward pre-booked vehicles via a base or facility located within the Sefton area;
Licensed within this document means licensed by Sefton MBC
Hire and Reward means to go beyond mere social kindness and undertake journeys
for which a reward is given (not necessarily money) is received;
Part 3. Minimum Standard Requirements for applicants for Driver Licences
There are requirements for driver licence applicants, which must be met or an applicant cannot legally be granted a licence. The Council can only grant licences to those it is sure are “fit and proper” and in deciding that, the Council insists on the following minimum requirements:
1. Holding a full driving licence (DVLA, EEC or Northern Ireland only) for at least a total period of 12 months (Commonwealth or exchangeable licences do not qualify). The driver record must be checked via the DVLA via the “fee-paid” DQ3 system;
2. Passing a full vocational (DVLA Group II) medical examination obtained via the applicant’s own registered General Practitioner. These medicals are required on first licensing, on reaching 45 years of age, then 55 years of age and, on reaching 65 years of age, annually thereafter.
3. Providing a “fee-paid” satisfactory CRB “Enhanced” disclosure. For EEC applicants that cannot provide this a “Certificate of Good Conduct” from their last country of residence may permit the issue of a short term licence until an “Enhanced” CRB Certificate can be provided; (see notes on next page re determining “fit & proper”).
4. Taxi & Private Hire Driver’s licences- VRQ and NVQ qualifications. New drivers will be required to hold a VRQ level 2 qualification in “Transporting Passengers by Taxi & Private Hire” (this covers customer care, basic self awareness, proving basic route finding capability using an A-Z and other matters designed to reduce complaints and improve the level of service to the travelling public. On presentation of the above VRQ qualification new drivers will only be eligible for a probationary 12 months licence and must then undergo and pass the further NVQ level 2 assessment in the same subject before expiry of that probationary licence in order for that licence to be renewed. Any such applicant who can show good cause for a failure to pass may apply to the Principal Taxi Licensing Enforcement Officer for one three month extension only. Existing drivers and drivers whose last licence is expired by less than 3 months have until the 26th October 2013 to obtain the full NVQ level 2 qualification or their licences will not be renewed after that date.
5. Pass the existing Sefton MBC Knowledge Test. The current existing topographical test requiring applicants to: Pass the routes test part.
6. Determining if an applicant/ licence holder is “fit and proper”
Many have a poor past history of motoring and criminal offences. An applicant with such offences will normally have to prove their fitness to the Council. All cautions, convictions and pending matters must be disclosed.
If new applicants have any of the following offences within the General Disqualification period stated then they will have to mitigate before a licence will be granted. That mitigation will be considered by the Principal Taxi Licensing Enforcement Officer and a decision will be made and communicated to the applicant in writing. If the decision is a refusal there is a statutory right of appeal to the Courts.
The general applicable period for offences is shown at the table on the next page.
Type of Offence General Period of Disqualification
Violence, Threatening Behaviour or harassment FIVE YEARS
Possession or supply of controlled drugs
Any indecency related matter
2 or more Drink/ Drug whilst driving related matters
Any dishonesty THREE YEARS
Abuse of position of trust/ dishonesty in employment
Single Drink/ Drug whilst driving related matters TWO YEARS
Totting Up Disqualification ONE YEAR
2 offences involving unlawful plying for hire and breach of insurance
Unlicensed driving of a licensed vehicle or using an unlicensed vehicle for hire and reward.
The general period of disqualification may run from the date of conviction or the end date of any custodial sentence imposed as considered appropriate in each case.
Applying the same rules to existing drivers:
In addition if a licence is granted and the holder then receives any of the above offences the licence will fall to be reconsidered and the licence can be suspended temporarily or permanently revoked and;
Where a disqualification is received then the licence is automatically revoked as null and void and must be returned to the Council. Any failure to return a licence will count against any future application. On the Council becoming aware of a failure to disclose a conviction or caution during the life of a licence a suspension/ revocation of licence can again be imposed.
Part 4. Minimum Standard Requirements for applications for all Private Hire Vehicle or motorised Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licences
Non-Motorised vehicles are subject to different specialised test procedures which can be obtained from the Council’s Licensing Unit upon enquiry
Warning: If the Council determines that anything in the construction, form, working or appearance of a vehicle makes the vehicle unfit for use as a hire and reward vehicle it will not be licensed or re-licensed. There is a right of appeal to the courts from any such refusal.
1. All motor vehicles must pass a compliance test at one of the Sefton MBC Appointed Testing Facilities before being presented for licensing at the Sefton Plus facilities. Any compliance certificate is only valid for 28 days and until a licence is issued the vehicle is not exempt from the requirement for a normal MOT Certificate;
2. Motor vehicles in excess of eight years of age and which have been previously licensed by Sefton may be re-licensed for six months at a time providing that the vehicle has not remained unlicensed for a three- month period and a compliance certificate is produced;
3. Previously unlicensed motor vehicles in excess of eight years of age (calculated from the date of registration in the UK or from date of manufacture if previously registered outside the UK) will not be compliance tested or licensed without first being visually examined by the Principal Licensing Officer;
4. Any applications falling outside these minimum standards must be referred to the
Principal Licensing Officer for investigation and determination under delegated powers. If considered appropriate by that Officer the application shall be referred to the Licensing & Regulatory Committee for determination. Any costs incurred by applicants in presenting any such vehicle will remain the responsibility of the applicant whether the application is granted or refused.
The minimum standard required is at least that of the current Department for Transport MOT test in force as of the date of testing plus;
5. The condition of the vehicle’s bodywork and paintwork must be above average for the age of the vehicle, free from scratches over 25mm long, and panel/ trim colouring must not be mismatched;
6. Any motor vehicle/ motor cycle with a seating capacity of 1 passenger plus driver must have sufficient hand grips to secure the passenger safely at all times;
7. All motor vehicles with a capacity of 2-8 passengers must be right hand drive and fitted with four doors (2 offside & 2 nearside), apart from imported stretched limousines. Those vehicles may be left hand drive but will only be licensed if shown to be subject to a minimum of Single Vehicle Approval certification or greater. Such approval is to be at the owner’s expense and must certify the seating capacity as no more than 8 passengers plus the driver;
8. All motor vehicles must be constructed to carry at least one and not more than eight passengers, in addition to the driver, in safety and comfort. Where the seating is of the bench type a complete length of 406 mm (16 inches), measured in a straight line along the front of the seat, is required for each passenger;
9. All motor vehicles with a seating capacity of 2-8 passengers must be fitted with a minimum of four road wheels and a spare wheel. Tyre refill sprays are not acceptable as they are ineffective on side wall damage. The requirement for a spare wheel and tyre can be replaced by fitting certified “run flat” tyres to all road wheels if proof of this is lodged in the licensing records;
10. In order to prevent possible vehicle fraud all vehicles must have the registration number or the chassis number or the VIN number etched onto all exterior glass (excluding obligatory lights and mirrors) unless manufacturer fitted VIN plates are installed on the vehicle;
11. The front windscreen must have a minimum light transmission capacity of 75% and in respect of light transmission of windows all motor vehicles must at minimum comply with:
a. The windows to either side of the driver of the vehicle must have a minimum light
transmission capacity of 70% and in addition;
b. The rear of the vehicle must be fitted with at least one window and there must be at least one window per rear door fitted and;
c. All windows fitted to the vehicle, apart from those at a) above must be the manufacturer approved standard fit, whether tinted or not;
d. On the grounds of retaining Reg. 43 type approved, “break glass” characteristics, no film or spray, which may alter the characteristics of any glass, from those contained within the original UK or EC vehicle approval certification may be used on any motor vehicle at any time.
12. All motor vehicles must be so constructed as to provide adequate space within their structure for the safe carriage of each passenger’s luggage. If not so constructed then a roof box will be a mandatory licensing requirement. No such roof box shall exceed the manufacturer specified maximum loading;
13. On grounds of ensuring the safety of passengers in the event of an accident no motor vehicle will be tested and accepted for licensing if passengers have to clamber over other passengers/ seats to exit the vehicle. Vehicles will only be licensed for the number of seats that can be occupied whilst leaving minimum clear access routes. The positioning of exit doors and seating will be used in determining the suitability of each vehicle for licensing. Any vehicle with such an arrangement must be referred to the Principal Taxi Licensing Enforcement Officer .
14. All vehicles presented for licensing must be the subject of an appropriate hire and reward insurance policy as follows:
a) Hackney Carriage vehicles must have a minimum of public hire insurance proposed by at least one of the proprietors listed on the vehicle licence and application and must cover at least the 1st day on which the licence is valid;
b) Private Hire vehicles must have private hire insurance proposed by at least one of the proprietors listed on the vehicle licence and application and must cover at least the 1st day on which the licence is valid;
c) Non Motorised (Omnibus and pedicab) vehicles must have public liability and carriage hire insurance proposed by at least one of the proprietors listed on the vehicle licence and application and must cover at least the 1st day on which the licence is valid;
Part 5- Minimum Standard Requirements for applications for a Private Hire Operator Licence
Sefton MBC will only issue a Private Hire Operator’s licence to an applicant who makes provision for the invitation or acceptance of bookings at an address within the area of Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council providing that:
1 The premises in question is subject to either customary use or has a valid planning approval or planning waiver which must be produced to Sefton Plus on first issue;
2 An applicant must list all telephone numbers and email addresses through which they intend to take pre-bookings on a schedule attached to their application;
3 An applicant must lodge a sample design of their preferred door signs at time of application. No design will be accepted if it too closely resembles another currently Sefton-licensed Private Hire Operator;
4 An applicant must fully disclose all pertinent matters as required by the application form in use at the time of application;
5 If the applicant is a limited company the incorporation certificate must be produced to Sefton Plus and authorisation declarations must be completed in respect of all signatories authorised by the company;
6 If the applicant is a limited liability partnership the incorporation certificate must be produced to Sefton Plus and authorisation declarations must be completed in respect of all signatories authorised by the company;
7 If any applicant (or signatory/ officer) has convictions/ cautions that breach the current Council Policy upon Convictions then that fact must be disclosed before the issue of a licence and the matter will be referred to the Principal Taxi Licensing Enforcement Officer for investigation and determination;
8 All holders of Private Hire Operator licences must declare their understanding of their need to at all times comply with the Operator licensing conditions in respect of records keeping, recording and production of the same on request;
9 No licensed Private Hire Operator may advertise on in or from a licensed vehicle a telephone number relating to a mobile telephone carried within a licensed vehicle.
10 No licensed Private Hire Operator may divert or transfer calls from their base office to any mobile telephone carried within a licensed private hire vehicle.
11 All bookings must be recorded at the Operator’s licensed base office(s) before the booking is transmitted to a licensed driver and vehicle for completion.
Part 6. Licensing Conditions for Licensed Private Hire Drivers
1 DRIVER'S BADGE AND LICENCE
a) Prior to working for Private Hire purposes the licensed Private Hire Driver shall deposit *one copy of the Driver’s licence with the owner of the hired vehicle & *one copy of the Driver’s licence with the Operator.
b) When leaving the employ of a Private Hire Vehicle Proprietor or Operator the driver shall recover his/ her licence from the Proprietor *and the Operator, [If the Proprietor or Operator has a complaint he/she may not retain the licence but must return the same to the Licensing Office within twenty-four hours of the demand for its return together with a written complaint on the disputed matter]
c) When driving for Private Hire purposes a driver must at all times keep his photo badge and licence number on display so that passengers in the vehicle can clearly confirm the status of a licensed driver to their satisfaction. Such badge must be produced to a Police Constable or Authorised Officer of a Council for inspection on demand.
2 VEHICLES PERMITTED TO BE DRIVEN FOR PRIVATE HIRE
The driver shall only, when working, drive and use vehicles that are licensed by Sefton as Private Hire Vehicles.
3 RESPONSIBILITIES OF LICENSED DRIVERS
It shall be the responsibility of all licensed private hire drivers to:
a) Before commencing work inspect the licensed vehicle and ensure that the tyres brakes and obligatory lights are in good order and working;
b) To ensure the Licensing Handbook is carried within their licensed vehicle for inspection;
c) Not carry a greater number of persons (including babes in arms) than is shown as permitted on the vehicle licence and internal and external licence plates.
d) Be clean, respectable & civil & orderly in behaviour and manner;
e) Take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of passengers;
f) When requested to do so by a passenger, convey a reasonable quantity of luggage and give reasonable assistance in loading & unloading the said luggage;
g) If driving a wheelchair accessible vehicle to afford reasonable assistance to a passenger so as to enable the passenger to load into, be carried in, and safely alight from the vehicle as requested by the said passenger;
h) Not without the express consent of the hirer, play any radio , CD or similar;
i) If required by the hirer of the vehicle, provide a written receipt for any fare paid;
j) Ensure that any property found is deposited at a Merseyside Police Station (or returned to rightful owner) within 48 hours.
k) To report to the Council, in writing, full details of any accident within seventy-two hours of an accident occurring and shall produce valid insurance for the date of the incident when reporting the accident. If so required the driver shall produce the vehicle to an Authorised Officer for inspection as to its’ fitness for use following the accident;
l) To report to the Council, in writing, within seven days, a change of operator;
m) To report to the Council, in writing, within seven days, a change of address;
n) To report to the Council, in writing, within seven days, full details of ANY reprimands , cautions, fixed penalties or convictions recorded against them;
o) To report to the Council, in writing, within seven days, full details of any criminal charge pending against them and to update the Council as the case progresses;
p) To report to the Council, in writing, within seventy two hours, any Disqualification from driving received. In that event the driver shall return their Private Hire Driver’s licence and badge as being automatically null and void from the moment of disqualification.
Part 7. Conditions Licensing Conditions- Private Hire Vehicles
1. MAINTENANCE / CONDITION/ ALTERATION OF VEHICLE
a) The vehicle must be maintained in a clean and tidy, complete & thoroughly roadworthy condition.
b) The seats and floor covering of the vehicle shall be free from rips, tears & holes. Seat covers are permitted but must be removed when presenting the vehicle for its fitness test.
c) Roof Racks and Roof Boxes are permitted providing they do not exceed vehicle loading specifications.
d) CCTV with/ without audio is permitted provided that at least one warning notice is clearly displayed internally so all passengers are aware that they may be recorded.
2. IDENTIFICATION PLATES
a) The large external private hire plate must be securely fixed to the rear of the vehicle. No plate may be placed or displayed in the rear window. The plate must be clearly visible to following vehicles. It must be secured with a proprietary bracket or by screws so as to be removable by an Authorised Officer of Police Officer;
b) The internal licence plate must be fixed in its’ provided pouch inside the nearside of the vehicle front windscreen, clearly visible from the kerbside and from within the vehicle;
c) The plates issued by the council are the sole property of the council and are “on deposit "only & must be surrendered to an officer of the council or police officer on demand;
3. OTHER SIGNS & NOTICES
a) Every private hire vehicle shall display a tariff card inside the vehicle and the fare must be calculated in accordance with the rates set by the Operator;
b) Door signs must be displayed on both FRONT doors of the vehicle whilst working. They must not exceed the maximum dimensions of 24 inches by 10 inches (61cm x 25.4cm). These signs must include:
1) "PRIVATE HIRE ONLY" in 1 inch (2.54cm) high letters or larger along at least three quarters (75%) of the sign’s length;
2) The telephone number and name of the Operator the vehicle is working through at
3) The display of the words TAXI or CAB or the telephone number of a mobile
telephone carried within that vehicle is forbidden.
c) A rear window sign may be fitted, measuring a maximum 12 inches by 3 inches (30.5 cm x 7.6 cm) and may contain the Operators trading name, telephone number and a pre-approved slogan;
d) Advertising of other businesses is permitted by way of magnetic or permanently affixed signs of maximum dimensions 24 inches by 10 inches (61cm x 25.4cm) displayed on each rear door of a vehicle. Any sign promoting tobacco or alcohol is forbidden.
e) In the case of a Private Hire Minibus/ Multi-Purpose Vehicle with a seating capacity of between 6 and 8 passenger seats a full livery advertisement is permitted provided that :
1) The signs include the words PRIVATE HIRE ONLY in letters of a minimum 3 inches (7.6cm) in height;
2) The signs are permanently sign-written or affixed;
3) The signs are displayed on and from the sides and rear of the vehicle only ;
f) Conditions 2 a, b and d are only disallowed (note: what?) when a vehicle is subject to an exemption notice granted by the Council for a full day hiring of at least 24 hours. When so used the plates and exemption notice must be carried within the vehicle and produced to any person having reason to enquire into the use of the vehicle
If a taximeter is fitted, it must be fitted so as to be easily seen by the hirer of the vehicle. Any meter must be checked & sealed by an Authorised Agent of this Council and that agent must issue a sealing receipt slip.
5. PERMITTED DRIVERS/ PROCEDURES WITH PRIVATE HIRE DRIVERS’ LICENCES
a) The Proprietor of a licensed Private Hire vehicle shall not permit any person to drive a licensed Private Hire Vehicle for any purpose unless they have first deposited their Sefton Private Hire Driver’s Licence with the proprietor ;
b) The Proprietor of a licensed Private Hire vehicle must hold the licences of all drivers in their employ and shall produce the same upon demand to any Officer of the Council or Police Constable when required;
c) The Proprietor of a licensed Private Hire vehicle shall, upon the vehicle being returned to him/her by a licensed driver who is seeking to leave their employ immediately should return their Driver’s licence to them unless the Proprietor has cause for complaint in which case it should be put in writing to the Taxi Licensing Department together with the licence within 24 hours .
6. ITEMS WHICH MUST BE NOTIFIED TO THE COUNCIL
a) The proprietor/ driver of any Sefton MBC licensed private hire vehicle shall report to the Council, in writing, full details of any accident within seventy-two hours of an accident occurring and shall produce valid insurance for the date of the incident ;
b) If so required shall produce the vehicle to an Authorised Officer for inspection as to its’ fitness for use following the accident;
c) The proprietor/ part proprietor of any Sefton MBC licensed private hire vehicle must
d) disclose to the Council, in writing, within seven days: 1) A change of operator; 2) A
change of address; 3) Full details of ANY cautions or convictions recorded against them.
7. FAILURE TO COMPLETE A JOURNEY
In the event of a Sefton licensed private hire vehicle not completing a journey for any reason no fare shall be charged in respect of any distance travelled .
8. LOST & FOUND PROPERTY
Any proprietor of a licensed private hire vehicle who discovers any property left in the vehicle and not claimed by the owner must deposit the property at any Police Station within 48 hours of finding it.
Part 8. Conditions imposed on licensed Private Hire Operators
1 PLANNING PERMISSION
Any premises used by an Operator for the purposes authorised by this licence shall have the appropriate planning permission for such use & an Operator shall comply with any conditions attached to such planning permission.
2 FACILITIES FOR PASSENGERS
An Operator shall provide adequate telecommunications facilities and staff to provide an efficient service to the public using the Operator's facilities.
3 PRE-BOOKED HIRINGS.
a) When an Operator accepts a hiring they shall ensure that a Sefton licensed Private Hire Vehicle or Hackney Carriage attends at the appointed pace and as near to the appointed time as is possible;
b) When an Operator accepts a hiring they shall, immediately prior to the commencement of the journey, record all details of the contract in accordance with condition 4.
4 RECORDS OF HIRINGS
a) Any Operator licensed by Sefton MBC, shall keep records of any hiring which they accept, in accordance with the conditions below:
i) The time & date of each booking;
ii) Sufficient identifiers for the hirer or journey;
iii) The starting point for each pre-booked journey;
iv) The call sign or registration number of the vehicle used for each booking together
with the driver’s identifying details;
b) Such records shall be kept either in a ledger with consecutively numbered pages, on individual consecutively numbered record slips or on a computer database/ spreadsheet in an identifiable format;
c) It shall be the responsibility of an Operator to ensure that the above records are kept in a legible manner, and be available for inspection at the Operators Licensed premises for a period of not less than six months;
d) These records shall be retained for six months and produced on request to any Police Officer or Authorised Officer of the Council;
5 RECORDS OF VEHICLES AND DRIVERS
a) All Operators shall maintain at their licensed premises particulars of all vehicles & drivers which they operate. The records to be kept shall include:
i) The Private Hire Vehicle or Hackney Carriage Vehicle licence plate numbers;
ii) The vehicle registration numbers and call signs;
iii) The names & addresses of the proprietors of each vehicle;
iv) The names & addresses and badge numbers of the Private Hire & Hackney
Carriage Drivers in their employ;
v) A unique call sign/identifying number assigned to each vehicle;
b) Any unique call sign/identifying number assigned to each licensed vehicle shall not be transferred to another licensed vehicle unless the previous vehicle ceases to be a
licensed private hire vehicle ;
c) These records shall be produced on request to any Police Officer or Authorised Officer of the Council.
6 VEHICLES WHICH MAY BE LAWFULLY USED
No Licensed Operator shall operate any vehicle or driver not licensed by Sefton MBC .
7 DRIVERS WHO MAY BE LAWFULLY EMPLOYED
Any driver prior to their commencement of the employ of a licensed Operator shall first deposit his license marked “Operator Copy” with the Operator .
An Operator shall immediately investigate any complaint, and immediately notify the complainant of their right to forward their complaint to the Council.
9. FAILURE TO COMPLETE A JOURNEY
In the event of a Sefton Licensed Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Vehicle failing to complete a journey only the fare to that point shall be charged by that driver and the Operator will ensure that another licensed vehicle is provided to complete the original hire for the remaining fee .
Part 9. Conditions imposed on licensed Hackney Carriage Vehicles and their owners;
1 MAINTENANCE / CONDITION/ ALTERATION OF VEHICLE
a) The vehicle must be maintained in a clean and tidy, complete & thoroughly roadworthy condition.
b) The seats and floor covering of the vehicle shall be free from rips, tears & holes. Seat covers are permitted but must be removed when presenting the vehicle for its fitness test.
c) Roof Racks and Roof Boxes are permitted providing they do not exceed vehicle loading specifications.
d) CCTV with / without audio is permitted provided that at least one warning notice is clearly displayed internally so all passengers are aware that they may be recorded.
e) A taximeter must be fitted to the vehicle calibrated and sealed to show the tariffs set by the Council ;
No-one shall carry a greater number of persons in the vehicle than that shown on the licence and plate.
No Metropolitan- type hackney carriages shall have the luggage compartment used for anything other than the carriage of luggage except for:
i) Where a wheelchair-bound passenger is to be carried in the main passenger area of a vehicle fitted with a manufacturer/ type approved tip up seat in the luggage area and where the driver decides that it is safer/ more comfortable for one able bodied passenger to travel on the tip seat to provide more room for the wheelchair bound passenger and the rest of the party.
3. MANDATORY IDENTIFICATION PLATES AND SIGNS & NOTICES
a) The large hackney carriage hire plate must be affixed to the rear of the vehicle by means of either a proprietary bracket or by screws only. The plate must be clearly visible to following vehicles. No plate may be placed or displayed in the rear window;
b) The smaller internal licence plate must be fixed in its’ pouch inside the nearside front windscreen of the vehicle so as to be visible from the kerbside and from within the vehicle;
c) The plates issued by the council are the sole property of the council and are “on deposit" only & must be surrendered to an officer of the council or police officer on demand ;
d) Every hackney carriage shall display a tariff card inside the vehicle and the fare must be calculated in accordance with the rates set by the Council ;
e) An illuminated identification sign, showing the Hackney’s licence number, shall be fitted inside every Hackney Carriage, and wired to the vehicles ignition system;
f) All Sefton licensed hackney carriages shall bear a roof-sign identifying the vehicle and this sign shall:
i) Unless fitted in a roof bubble, be white or yellow to the front and, red to the rear;
ii) Display either the words “Taxi” or “Hackney Taxi”;
iii) Be securely attached to the vehicle; and
iv) Be connected to the taximeter so that when the vehicle is available for hire the sign is illuminated when not hired, and not illuminated when hired .
4. ADDITIONAL SIGNS AND ADVERTISING
a) A magnetic or permanently fixed sign may be displayed on both front doors of a licensed hackney carriage. This may include the Sefton logo together with the words “For immediate hire” and a Sefton based radio system name and telephone number;
b) A rear window sign may be fitted, measuring a maximum 12 inches by 3 inches (30.5 cm x 7.6 cm) and may contain the radio system name, telephone number and a slogan;
c) Advertising of other businesses is permitted by way of magnetic or permanently affixed signs of maximum dimensions 24 inches by 10 inches (61cm x 25.4cm) displayed on each rear door of a vehicle. Any sign promoting tobacco or alcohol is forbidden.
d) In the case of a metropolitan type carriage full livery and super sides advertisements are allowed. Any sign promoting tobacco or alcohol is forbidden.
5. ITEMS WHICH MUST BE NOTIFIED TO THE COUNCIL
a) The proprietor/ driver of any Sefton MBC licensed hackney carriage shall report to the Council, in writing, full details of any accident within seventy-two hours of an accident occurring and shall produce valid insurance for the date of the incident;
b) If so required shall produce the vehicle to an Authorised Officer for inspection as to it’s’ fitness for use following the accident;
c) The proprietor/ part proprietor of any Sefton MBC licensed hackney carriage must
disclose to the Council, in writing, within seven days, a change of radio circuit operator or a change of address or a full details of ANY cautions or convictions recorded against them.
6. FAILURE TO COMPLETE A JOURNEY
In the event of a Sefton licensed hackney carriage not completing a journey for any unavoidable reason only the fare to that point may be charged.
7. LOST & FOUND PROPERTY
Any proprietor of a licensed hackney carriage who discovers any property left in the vehicle and not claimed by the owner must deposit the property at any Police Station within 48 hours of finding it.
Part 10. Hackney Carriage Bye-laws- drivers and vehicle owners.
Bye-laws made under Section 68 of the Town Police Clauses Act, 1847 and section 171 of the Public Health Act, 1875 by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council with respect to Hackney Carriages within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton.
1). Throughout these Bye-laws “the Council” means the Sefton Metropolitan Borough
Council and “The district” means Metropolitan Borough of Sefton.
2) Provisions regulating the manner in which the number of each Hackney Carriage,
corresponding with the number of its licence, shall be displayed.
2 a) the proprietor of a Hackney Carriage shall cause the number of the licence granted to him in respect of the carriage to be legibly painted or marked on the outside and inside of the Carriage or on plates affixed thereto.
b) A proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage shall:
i) Not wilfully or negligently cause or suffer any such number to be concealed from
public view whilst the carriage is standing or plying for hire.
ii) Not cause or permit the carriage to stand or ply for hire with any such painting,
marking or plate so defaced that any figure or material particular is illegible.
Provisions regulating how Hackney Carriages are to be furnished or provided
3)(i) The proprietor of a Hackney Carriage shall:
a) provide sufficient means by which any person in the carriage may communicate
with the driver;
b) cause the roof or covering to be kept water-tight;
c) provide any necessary windows and a means of opening and closing not less
than one window on each side;
d) cause the seats to be properly cushioned or covered;
e) cause the floor to be provided with a proper carpet, mat or other suitable
f) cause the fittings and furniture generally to be kept in a clean condition, well
maintained and in every way fit for public service;
g) provide means for securing luggage if the carriage is so constructed as to carry
h) provide an efficient fire extinguisher, which shall be carried in such position as to
be readily available for use; and
i) provide at least two doors for the use of persons conveyed in such carriages
and a separate means of ingress and egress for the driver.
3)(ii) A proprietor of a Hackney Carriage shall not, during the currency of the licence of a carriage, install without the consent of the Council any fitting which interferes with the reasonable comfort of the passengers (including a wireless transmitting or receiving set) which was not installed at the time of the issue of the licence .
4) Subject to the provisions of Bye-law 5, a proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage shall not place or suffer to be placed any printed, written or other matter by way of advertisement on any part of the carriage except with the consent of the Council .
5) The proprietor of a Hackney Carriage shall cause the same to be provided with a taximeter so constructed, attached and maintained as to comply with the following requirements, that is to say;
a) The taximeter shall be fitted with a flag or other device the turning of which will bring the machinery of the taximeter into action and cause the word “HIRED” to appear on the face of the taximeter;
b) Such key, flag or other device shall be capable of being locked in such a position that the machinery of the taximeter is not in action and that no fare is recorded on the face of the taximeter;
c) When the machinery of the taximeter is in action there shall be recorded on the face of the taximeter in clearly legible figures, a fare not exceeding the rate or fare which the proprietor or driver is entitled to demand and take for the hire of the carriage by time as well as for distance in pursuance of the tariff fixed by the Council.
d) The word “FARE” shall be printed on the face of the taximeter in plain letters so as clearly to apply to the fare recorded thereon;
e) The taximeter shall be so placed so that all letters and figures on the face thereof may be at all times plainly visible to any person being conveyed in the carriage, and for that purpose the letters and figures shall be capable of being suitably illuminated during any period of hiring; &
f) The taximeter and all the fittings thereof shall be so affixed to the carriage with seals or other appliances that it shall not be practicable for any person to tamper with them except by breaking, damaging or permanently displacing the seals or other appliances.
Provisions regulating the conduct of the proprietors and drivers of Hackney Carriages plying within the district in their several employments’ and determining whether such drivers shall wear any and what badges
6) The driver of a Hackney Carriage shall when standing or plying for hire keep the key, flag or other device fitted in pursuance of the bye-law in that behalf locked in the position in which no fare is recorded on the face of the taximeter;
a) Before beginning the journey for which a fare is charged for time and distance bring the machinery of the taximeter into action by moving the said key, flag or other device so that the word “HIRED” is legible on the face of the taximeter and keep the machinery of the taximeter in action until the termination of the hiring; and;
b) Cause the dial of the taximeter to be kept properly illuminated throughout any part of a hiring which is between half-an-hour after sunset and half-an-hour before sunrise, and also at any other time at the request of the hirer.
7) The proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage shall not tamper with or permit any person to tamper with any taximeter with which the carriage is provided, with the fittings thereof, or with the seals affixed thereto;
The driver of a Hackney Carriage shall, when plying for hire in any street and not actually hired:
a) If a stand at the time of his arrival is occupied by the full number of carriages authorised to occupy it proceed to another stand;
b) On arriving at a stand not already occupied by the full number of carriages authorised to occupy it, station the carriage immediately behind the carriage or carriages on the stand and so as to face in the same direction;
c) From time to time when any other carriage immediately in front is driven off or moved forward cause his carriage to be moved forward so as to fill the place previously occupied by the carriage driven off or moved forward;
9) A proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage, when standing or plying for hire, shall not, by calling out or otherwise, importune any person to hire such carriage and shall not make use of the services of any other person for the purpose;
10) The driver of a Hackney Carriage shall behave in a civil and orderly manner and shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of persons conveyed in or entering or alighting from the vehicle;
11) The driver of a Hackney Carriage which is not provided with a separate compartment for the driver shall not at any time when driving on hire smoke tobacco or like substance, or play a wireless set, except with the consent of the hirer;
12) The proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage who has agreed or has been hired to be in attendance with the carriage at an appointed time and place shall, unless delayed or prevented by some sufficient cause, punctually attend with such carriage at such appointed time and place;
13) A proprietor or driver of a hackney carriage shall not convey or permit to be conveyed in such carriage any greater number of persons than the number of persons specified on the plate affixed to the outside of the carriage;
14) If a badge has been provided by the Council and delivered to the driver of a Hackney Carriage shall, when standing or plying for hire, and when hired, wear that badge in such position and manner as to be plainly visible;
15)(i) The driver of a Hackney Carriage so constructed as to carry luggage shall, when requested by any person hiring or seeking to hire the carriage:
a) Convey a reasonable quantity of luggage;
b) Afford reasonable assistance in loading and unloading;
c) Afford reasonable assistance in removing it to or from the entrance of any building,
station or place at which he may take up or set down such person;
15)(ii) The driver of a Hackney Carriage so constructed as to carry luggage in a compartment adjoining that of the driver shall not use or permit the use of the said luggage compartment for any purpose other than the conveyance of luggage;
Provisions fixing the rates or fares to be paid for hackney carriages within the distance and securing the due publication of such fares
16) The proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage shall be entitled to demand and take for the hire of the carriage the rate or fare prescribed by the Council, the rate or fare being calculated by distance and time unless the hirer express at the commencement of the hiring his desire to engage by time.
Provided always that where a Hackney Carriage shall be hired by distance and time the proprietor and driver thereof shall not be entitled to demand and take a fare greater than that recorded on the face of the taximeter, save for any extra charges authorised by the table of fares which it may not be possible to record on the face of the taximeter;
17)(a) The proprietor of a Hackney Carriage shall cause a statement of the fares fixed by Council resolution to be exhibited inside the carriage, in clearly distinguishable letters and figures;
17)(b) The proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage bearing a statement of fares in accordance with this Bye-law shall not wilfully or negligently suffer or cause the letters or figures in the statement to be concealed or rendered illegible at any time while the carriage is plying, standing or being used for hire.
Provisions 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:
18. The proprietor or driver of a Hackney Carriage shall immediately after the termination of any hiring or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter carefully search the carriage for any property which may have been accidentally left therein.
19. The proprietor or driver of a hackney Carriage shall, if any property accidentally left therein by any person who may have been conveyed in the carriage be found by or handed to him:
(a) Carry it as soon as possible and in any event within 48 hours, if not sooner claimed by or on behalf of its owner to a Police Station within the District and leave it in the custody of an Officer in charge on his giving a receipt of it; and
(b) Be entitled to receive from any person to whom the property shall be re delivered an amount equal to five pence in the pound of its estimated value (or the fare from the distance from the place of finding to a Police Station within the District, whichever be the greater) but not more than five pounds.
Penalties for breach of the above Bye-laws
20. Every person who shall offend against any of these Bye-laws shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale. In the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding two pounds for each day during which the offence continues after conviction.
Repeal of Previous Bye-laws
21. The Bye-laws relating to Hackney Carriages which were made by Sefton Metropolitan Borough
Council on the 21st day of October 1985 and which were confirmed by one of Her Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State on the 15th September 1986 are hereby repealed.
THE COMMON SEAL of the
SEFTON METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL
was hereunto affixed this 30th day of November 2004
in the presence of: - Legal Director: Caroline Elwood
Note: Pedicab and Horse drawn regulations omitted from this document
Contravention of these Licensing Conditions can also lead to the suspension or revocation of the licence.
Part 12. Frequently Asked “Licensing” Questions
1. Can a Sefton licensed driver work for an operator licensed by another Council?
A. No- all three licences- driver, vehicle and Operator must be from the same Council.
2. Can a Licensed Hackney Cab ply for hire outside of its’ own area?
A. No- although certain pre-booked work can be carried out by these vehicles which either starts or finishes within its’ own licensing area .
3. Can anyone else drive a licensed vehicle?
A. Apart from to or from a pre-booked compliance or licensing test you must hold the
relevant hire and reward driver’s licence if you want to drive a licensed hire and reward vehicle.
4. Can a private hire driver accept a booking directly?
A. No. All journeys must be pre-booked through a licensed operator.
5. When can the Licensing Unit require more insurance cover?
A. Whenever they issue a written request. If the request specifies a date which must be covered then you must make sure that date is covered.
6. How do I contact Licensing when I have a problem?
A. The Contact Centre on 0845 140 0845 will deal with most queries but if they cannot they will transfer you via telephone to Licensing. You can also email directly to email@example.com
. In either case the Licensing Unit will then contact you as soon as possible.
7. I have received a minor vehicle defect notice. What do I do?
A. You correct the fault and then take the vehicle to one of the Sefton appointed testing stations. They will check the fault and stamp the notice. You then take the notice to either One Stop Shop who will scan the notice into the licensing system.
8. As a private hire driver is it important where I park when working?
A. Yes. If you park in a place where people will think you are displayed and available for hire then you risk being charged with standing for hire. If you park on Pedestrian Crossing markings then you risk points on your licence.
9. As a hackney driver can I park just anywhere when working?
A. No if you park past the end of an appointed stand or anywhere where obstruction results then you risk prosecution. If you park on Pedestrian Crossing markings then you risk points on your licence.
The Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
Hackney Carriage, Private Hire and Omnibus
Licensing Scheme Handbook
This handbook contains a working guide to the applicable rules for the hire and reward Hackney Carriage, Private Hire and Omnibus trades. These rules will be applied as affected by Council, General Policies, Central Government guidance, legislation and relevant case law.
It is a requirement of holding a licence that this handbook is carried within the licensed vehicle and produced if so required to an Authorised Officer of the Council or Police Officer, no there is no authority for this preposterous; this cannot be made an 'offence' . A quite outrageous attempt at regulation, should licensees carry Wilkinson on Road Traffic?
© Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council December 2008