Taxi and private hire policy consultation

Closing date: 23 October 2021

The aim of this consultation is to seek the views of the public and the hackney carriage / private hire businesses regarding:

  • moving to electric or ultra-low emission vehicles and;
  • proposed changes to the current conviction guidelines.

There is also an opportunity to comment on any other part of the policy.

This policy covers all aspects of hackney and private hire licensing including drivers, vehicles and operators. For more information about hackney and private hire licensing, please see the ‘further background information’ section below.

Next steps

The results of the consultation will be reported to the Council’s Licensing Committee on 16 November 2021. The report, details of the meeting (that the public can attend) and any changes made to the policy as a result of the consultation will be available on the agenda for the meeting.

  • Licensing Committee agenda - 16 November 2021

Any questions, requests for additional information, copies of any of the documents or comments on the consultation can be sent to:

Take part

The closing date for responses is 23 October 2021.

Further background information

Hackney carriage

There are 315 hackney carriage vehicles in the borough.

Generally known as Taxis (they have a "Taxi" sign on the roof). These vehicles are available for immediate hire and can be hired by being hailed in the street or from a designated rank often in busy locations such as train stations or town centres. Hackney carriages can also be pre booked in advance.

They have a fare meter that displays the fare that will be charged (time and distance). The Council set the maximum fare that can be charged.

In Cheshire West and Chester hackney carriages operate in three zones, Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston and Vale Royal.

All hackney carriages are wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). These WAV vehicles have been permanently adapted/modified to enable a passenger using a standard wheelchair to enter, exit and travel safely and securely whilst always remaining in their wheelchair for the entire journey.

The majority of these vehicles can carry six or more passengers and have other aids to improve accessibility such as additional steps, contrasting colour grab handles and seat flashes and fitted hearing loops. Legislation allows the Council to determine and restrict what type of vehicle it will licence as a hackney carriage.

Private hire

There are 934 private hire vehicles in the borough.

These vehicles can only be booked in advance through a licenced private hire operator. They cannot be hailed in the street or booked via the driver.

About 2 per cent of private hire vehicles are wheelchair accessible (WAVs). The fleet is predominately four-door saloon vehicles with some people carriers and mini buses. Private hire vehicles have no restrictions in the areas they can operate within the borough. The Council does not have any control of the fares charged by a private hire operator.

Though subject to some general conditions, the legislation does not allow the Council to determine what type of vehicle is used or if it is required to be wheelchair accessible.

Drivers of licenced vehicles

Before a license is issued, drivers must be deemed "fit and proper/safe and suitable". This requires applicants undertaking and passing a vocational training package including safeguarding training, a driving assessment, medical assessment, and a criminal records check.

Documents

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