Before you read this please take note that many local authorities have opted for the decriminalisation of Taxi ranks, which means the police no longer enforce ranks under the 1976 act in those areas that have opted for decriminalisation.
Most council Taxi ranks these days come under the supervision of parking attendents who's job it is to issue Parking tickets. Before the decriminalisation of Taxi ranks the law was as follows and in some areas this law still applies. However, A Taxi rank is active as long as the following procedures are in place and the rank has not been "revoked" for one reason or another. The procedures for making a Taxi rank are still the same but the issue of parking on them in most cases as I stated has become a parking offence.
Under normal circumstances any sign that is in evidence would normally mean the rank is still active. If signs or markings are absent then it would be wise to consult Taxi licensing or the highways department for the current status. Case law appertaining to waiting on Taxi ranks can be found on TDO. Obaid v Bradford. Perhaps the Jennings case is on here too I can't recall off hand.
My advice would be to confirm the rank is still operational by contacting your LO and for your own satisfaction ask for the publication notice and date of when the rank was publicised in the local press and if it has been revoked ask for the revocation notice withdrawing the rank. Once you have those two items you will know where you stand in respect of the validity of the rank. If rank markings or signs are absent then you should inform the licensing office who under normal circumstances will rectify the situation by having those markings updated.
Your local Taxi association should have details of the status of this rank, if they don't then they are not doing their job on behalf of their members.
Please keep us informed of developements.
Prohibition of other vehicles on hackney carriage stands.
In an area to which Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 applies, no person may cause or permit any vehicle other than a hackney carriage to wait on any stand for hackney carriages during any period for which that stand has been appointed, or is deemed to have been appointed, by a district council. Notice of this prohibition must be indicated by such traffic signs as may be prescribed or authorised for the purpose by the Secretary of State in pursuance of his powers.
If any person without reasonable excuse contravenes these provisions, he is guilty of an offence. In any proceedings against the driver of a public service vehicle it is a defence to show that, by reason of obstruction to traffic or for other compelling reason, he caused his vehicle to wait on a stand or part of a stand and that he caused or permitted his vehicle so to wait only for so long as was reasonably necessary for the taking up or setting down of passengers.
1 Ie the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Pt II (ss 45–80) (as amended). As to the application of Pt II (as amended) see para 1054 ante.
2 For the meaning of 'hackney carriage' (definition applied by virtue of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 80(1)).
3 s 64(1). The reference in the text to a stand appointed or deemed to be appointed by a district council is to one so appointed under s 63 (as amended): As to the meaning of 'district council' see para 1054 note 5 ante.
4 Ibid s 64(2). The reference in the text to the powers of the Secretary of State is to his powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 s 64 (as amended): see para 592 ante. As to the Secretary of State see para 35 ante. As to the transfer of certain functions of the Secretary of State, so far as exercisable in relation to Wales, to the National Assembly for Wales see para 36 ante.
5 'Contravene' includes fail to comply: Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 80(1).
6 Ibid s 64(3). A person guilty of such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale: s 76 (amended by virtue of the Criminal Justice Act 1982 ss 38, 46). Where such an offence is due to the act or default of another person, then, whether proceedings are taken against the first-mentioned person or not, that other person may be charged with and convicted of the offence, and is liable on conviction to the same punishment as might have been imposed on the first-mentioned person if he had been convicted of the offence: Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 72(1).
Where an offence which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate is guilty of an offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly: ss 44(3), 72(2). As to the standard scale see para 29 note 3 ante.
7 Ie under ibid s 64.8 For the meaning of 'public service vehicle' see para 818 ante; definition applied by virtue of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 80(1) (amended by the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 s 88, Sch 7 para 20)).9 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s 64(4).
63 Stands for hackney carriages (1) For the purposes of their functions under the Act of 1847, a district council may from time to time appoint stands for hackney carriages for the whole or any part of a day in any highway in the district which is maintainable at the public expense and, with the consent of the owner, on any land in the district which does not form part of a highway so maintainable and may from time to time vary the number of hackney carriages permitted to be at each stand.
(2) Before appointing any stand for hackney carriages or varying the number of hackney carriages to be at each stand in exercise of the powers of this section, a district council shall give notice to the chief officer of police for the police area in which the stand is situated and shall also give public notice of the proposal by advertisement in at least one local newspaper circulating in the district and shall take into consideration any objections or representations in respect of such proposal which may be made to them in writing within twenty-eight days of the first publication of such notice.
(3) Nothing in this section shall empower a district council to appoint any such stand —
(a) so as unreasonably to prevent access to any premises;
(b) so as to impede the use of any points authorised to be used in connection with a [local service within the meaning of the Transport Act 1985] [or PSV operator's licence granted under [the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981]], as points for the taking up or setting down of passengers, or in such a position as to interfere unreasonably with access to any station or depot of any passenger road transport operators, except with the consent of those operators;
(c) on any highway except with the consent of the highway authority; and in deciding the position of stands a district council shall have regard to the position of any bus stops for the time being in use.
(4) Any hackney carriage byelaws for fixing stands for hackney carriages which were made by a district council before the date when this section comes into force in the area of the council and are in force immediately before that date shall cease to have effect, but any stands fixed by such byelaws shall be deemed to have been appointed under this section.
(5) The power to appoint stands for hackney carriages under subsection (1) of this section shall include power to revoke such appointment and to alter any stand so appointed and the expressions "appointing" and "appoint" in subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall be construed accordingly.
Sub-s (3): first words in square brackets substituted by the Transport Act 1985, s 1, Sch 1, para 2; second words in square brackets substituted by the Transport Act 1980, s 43, Sch 5, Part II, words in square brackets therein substituted by the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, s 88, Sch 7, para 19.
64 Prohibition of other vehicles on hackney carriage stands (1) No person shall cause or permit any vehicle other than a hackney carriage to wait on any stand for hackney carriages during any period for which that stand has been appointed, or is deemed to have been appointed, by a district council under the provisions of section 63 of this Act.
(2) Notice of the prohibition in this section shall be indicated by such traffic signs as may be prescribed or authorised for the purpose by the Secretary of State in pursuance of his powers under [section 64 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984].
(3) If any person without reasonable excuse contravenes the provisions of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) In any proceedings under this section against the driver of a public service vehicle it shall be a defence to show that, by reason of obstruction to traffic or for other compelling reason, he caused his vehicle to wait on a stand or part thereof and that he caused or permitted his vehicle so to wait only for so long as was reasonably necessary for the taking up or setting down of passengers.
Sub-s (2): words in square brackets substituted by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s 146,Schl3,para36.