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Sunday , February , 25 2018

Taxi and Private Hire

Taxis (Hackney Carriages) and Private Hire Vehicles are licensed to ensure that they are suitable and safe for you to travel in.

The plate on the rear of the vehicle identifies the type of licence it holds. The plates clearly state the licence type, licence number (beginning with H or P) along with the registration, description and maximum number of passengers.

The laws covering Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles are quite different. In brief, a Hackney can:

  • stand on a rank
  • be flagged down in the street
  • be booked through a licensed operator.

A Private Hire vehicle can only accept pre-booked calls.

If a Private Hire driver picks up from a rank or from being flagged down, not only are they committing an offence, but their insurance may be also be invalid.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

We maintain a designated list of wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles that we licence (see Downloadable Documents). The list contains details of the vehicle and contact numbers, where available, and is provided for the purposes of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010. 

Whilst we cannot guarantee the availability of the listed vehicles at any given time, we hope that providing this list will help those in need of such a vehicle to book one more easily.

Taxi Rank provision

Taxi ranks are provided on-street for use by hackney carriages and not by private hire vehicles. They are provided where a demand has been identified, such as near railway and bus stations or in areas with numerous entertainment or leisure venues.

Ranks can operate full time or during restricted hours at times of heightened demand. They are normally located so that passengers can board or alight from the taxi onto a footway on the nearside of the vehicle.

Private hire vehicles may not pick up passengers from Taxi Ranks. Not only is this an offence, but they may not be insured either.

  Licensing - Taxis and Private Hire - FAQ

Complaints about taxis

If the complaint is about a private hire vehicle or taxi booked through a company, you should first complain to the company. In most cases, they will investigate and sort things out quickly. If you aren't happy with how they treat your complaint, if the driver is self-employed or the taxi was hailed in the street or from a rank, please contact us to make a complaint.

Tell us what happened, when it happened and identify the driver and vehicle. Make a note of the driver's badge number (displayed in the cab) and the vehicle's plate number (on the back of the vehicle) if you can.

Also please include your name and address and, if you would rather be contacted by telephone or email, your contact details.

What will happen next

In cases of serious misconduct you may be required to make a witness statement and will be advised that formal disciplinary action may depend on you supporting your statement in person at a disciplinary hearing.

If it is alleged that criminal offences have been committed, complainants will be referred to the police. In these cases any action will be postponed until the police have completed their enquiries and closed the incident. This may mean waiting to see a conviction is made.

If there are two conflicting accounts of an incident and no independent witnesses then our powers are limited. In such cases the driver may only be given words of advice on the standard of driving and behaviour expected from licensed drivers.

A record of the complaint is placed on the driver's personal file to give the office a picture of the behaviour of the driver and this could be used to substantiate similar incidents if they were to occur in the future.

A number of minor complaints in a short space of time or a similar incident occurring could lead to disciplinary action being taken.

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