Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2021-2026

A 6 week consultation took place for our new Taxi Policy, that ended on 21 June 2021.
In July 2020 the Department for Transport (DfT) brought out new Statutory Guidance on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards focusing on the role of licensing powers and enhanced regulation in protecting children and vulnerable adults. The guidance sets out core minimum standards that all licensing authorities are expected to meet in order to further safeguard vulnerable passengers, increase safety for the travelling public and comply with statutory guidance.
These standards are an important step in reforming the way this sector is regulated and should ensure consistent standards between licensing authorities.
In response to the new Standards the draft Taxi Policy has been written with the intention of bringing together all of our existing Policies and Procedures into one cohesive document in line with DfT guidance.
The draft Taxi Policy reaffirms that the principle aim of Taxi licensing is to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm and strengthens our commitment to safeguarding ALL fee paying passengers.
In addition to our current Policies and Procedures we have introduced a number of new requirements including the following:
  • Emission and Age Policies (Section 7) 
  • Driver code of conduct and dress code
  • Big face badge to be placed on dashboard 
  • Purpose built full hybrid, or plug in hybrid must have a minimum range of 16km (10 miles) using battery power only, a full electric vehicle must have minimum range of 112km (70 miles) 
  • A written HPI check  (status of outstanding  finance/ insurance write-off)
  • Plate exemption criteria – proprietor to provide evidence that 80% of jobs are for a specified customer(s) and vehicles must be a certain type 
  • Taxi roof light to have TAXI on one side and Surrey Heath Borough Council TAXI on the other
  • Replacement auto lamps to be kept in the vehicle
  • No meters in Private Hire Vehicles from 01/04/2022 
  • Card payment terminals in all Taxis to enable contact less payment
  • Vehicles with a 3rd row of seats must have adequate legroom and headroom and a gap of 300mm at the narrowest point to allow ease of egress
  • Wheelchair accessible vehicles must have M1 classification on V5C and must comply with EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval
  • Covid-19 considerations- advice to drivers and operators is provided.
Details of these additional requirements can be found in the Draft Taxi Policy.
We are keen to hear your views on the draft Taxi Policy and in particular the changes we are proposing.
Once adopted the Taxi Policy will be used to inform our decisions on applications building on our current good practice. The Taxi Policy will be kept under review and will be formally reviewed every 5 years to reflect for example changes in Legislation and local conditions.
If you would like any further information please email licensing@surreyheath.gov.uk