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Private Hire Vehicles

Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles

 

Policy and Conditions for Private Hire Vehicle Licences

The proprietor shall at all times comply with the provisions of Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the conditions hereinafter provided.
In this policy and these conditions:
“Authorised officer” has the same meaning as in section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
“The Council” means the Council of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside.
“The identification plates” means the plates issued by the Council for display on the exterior and interior of the vehicle for the purpose of identifying the vehicle as a private hire vehicle.
“The operator” means a person holding a licence to operate private hire vehicles issued pursuant to section 55 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
“The proprietor” has the same meaning as in section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
“Taximeter” has the same meaning as in section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Measuring Instruments (Taximeters) Regulations 2006.
“Private hire vehicle” has the same meaning as in section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
“Driver” means the holder of a private hire vehicle driver’s licence issued by the Council.

 

Private Hire Vehicle Policy

A. Before a licence is granted in respect of a private hire vehicle the applicant must:

  1. Complete and submit to the Council an application and Statutory Declaration in the form prescribed by the Council.
  2. Pay to the Council a fee as detailed in the current Licensing Fees and Charges list which is available on request.
  3. Satisfy the Council that:

(i) The vehicle is in a suitable mechanical condition, is both safe and comfortable for the carriage of passengers and suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle.
(ii) there is in force in relation to the vehicle a policy of insurance covering use for hire and reward, passenger liability and passenger’s luggage, and comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
(iii) There is in force a valid certificate of insurance against liability for employees (in appropriate cases) in accordance with the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
(iv) The vehicle will be operated by an operator licensed by the Council.
(v) The vehicle has never been declared a total loss as a result of accident damage or other damage. Vehicles which have been declared as category A, B or C write-offs will not be licensed by the Council under any circumstances. Vehicles which have been declared as category D write-offs will not be licensed by the council unless the applicant can provide clear evidence, including photographs of the damage sustained by the vehicle before any repairs are carried out and a full and comprehensive report from a suitably qualified engineer stating that the vehicle provides protection to the occupants equal to the protection it provided prior to receiving the accident or other damage.

  1. Present the vehicle for inspection at such place within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside and at such time as the authorised officer shall by notice to the applicant require.

B. Vehicle Specification

1. A vehicle will be suitable in type, size and design for use as a private hire vehicle if it is not an FX/ TX style vehicle but meets the following specification:
2. Will be a saloon or estate car, MPV or minibus type vehicle.  In the case of an estate car there must be fitted a guard or tonneau cover to keep luggage securely in place & shall have a minimum of 4 passenger seats.  No seat can be side facing.
3. Must be a right-hand drive vehicle.
4. Not be multi-coloured but may be two-tone.  The vehicle must not be black or appear to be black in dark or low-light conditions (this to include a prohibition on any vary dark blue or very dark grey coloured vehicles). The decision of the Licensing Officer in this respect will be final. 
5. Any application for a private hire vehicle licence to carry less than 4 people will be considered on an individual basis. The decision of the authorised officer in this respect will be final. 

C. Age Policy

1. No vehicle will be first licensed unless the vehicle is less than 5 years old from the date of first registration as per the vehicle registration document (V5).

2. No wheelchair accessible vehicle will be first licensed unless the vehicle is less than 7 years old from the date of first registration as per the vehicle registration document (V5). 

3. If an existing licensed private hire vehicle is declared a total loss by an insurance company as a result of accident damage, or is stolen & not recovered, that licensed vehicle may be replaced by a vehicle of similar or younger age (with a maximum age of 10 years).      

4. No vehicle will be relicensed once the vehicle has reached 12 years old from the date of first registration as per the vehicle registration document (V5).

5. No wheelchair accessible vehicle will be relicensed once the vehicle has reached 15 years old from the date of first registration as per the vehicle registration document (V5).

 

D. Seating provision

Seating provision shall be specific to the vehicle type as shown below;

1. Saloon/Estate vehicle licensed to carry 4 passengers

i) Seat Height
From the top of the seat cushions to the lowest part of the roof lining must be approximately 865mm (approx. 34 inches).

ii) Leg Room Front Seat - There must be approximately 750 mm (approx. 29 ½ inches), between the leading edge of the dashboard and the back of the seat being measured.

iii) Leg Room Rear Seats - There must be approximately 750 mm (approx. 29 ½ inches), between the front surface of all rear seat backs and the back of the seat in front, measured with the front seat located as described above.

iv) Seat Depth -Fixed passenger seats (measured from the back of the seat to the front edge of the seat cushion) must be approximately 406mm (approx. 16 inches).

v) Seat Width -Fixed passenger seats (measured along the front edge of the seat) must allow approximately 406 mm (approx. 16 inches) per person.

As an example, this would allow a medium sized five-door hatchback to operate as a private hire vehicle, but would exclude smaller three-door vehicles from being licensed.

2. Vehicles Licensed to Carry between 5 and 8 Passengers

i) These vehicles must have two means of exit in the rear part of the vehicle.

ii) No seat must be required to be tipped or otherwise moved in order to gain access to another seat, and no seat can be side facing.

iii) All seats must be fitted with three point seatbelts.

iv) No door will be obstructed by the position of a seat and all aisles or walkways must be clear and unobstructed.

v) The vehicle step height must be 250mm or less, and a grab handle must also be fitted to assist passengers.

vi) Seat Height. -From the top of the seat cushions to the lowest part of the roof lining must not be approximately 865 mm (approx. 34 inches).

vii) Leg Room Front Seat - There must not be approximately 750 mm (approx. 29 ½ inches) between the leading edge of the dash board and the back of the seat being measured.

viii) Rear/Middle Seats - There must be approximately 650 mm (approx. 25 ½ inches) between the front surface of seat backs and the back of the seat in front, measured with the front seat located as specified above.

ix) Seat Depth - Fixed passenger seats (measured from the back of the seat to the front edge of the seat cushion) must be approximately 406mm (approx. 16 inches).

x) Seat Width - Fixed passenger seats (measured along the front edge of the seat) must allow approximately 406mm (approx. 16 inches) per person.

xi) Facing Seats - The distance between the seat backs measured in a horizontal plane along the top surface of the seating cushion must be approximately 1300 mm (51 inches approx.). The distance between the front edges of the seat cushions must be approximately 425 mm (approx. 16 ¾ inches).

xii) Note: The dimensions of the seats will vary dependent upon the vehicle type and model.  The Licensing Enforcement Officer’s opinion on whether a vehicle presented for inspection meets the above policy requirements will be final.

xiii) Any proposed alteration must be discussed with an authorised officer before the works are carried out to ensure the safety of passengers carried is not compromised.

NOTE: Access to and exit from a vehicle will vary dependent upon the type and specific conversion.  The authorised officer’s opinion of accessibility will be final.

 

E. Luggage space

1. The vehicle shall have adequate luggage space; all luggage to be secure so as not to become a danger in the event of an accident. The authorized officer’s opinion on whether a vehicle has sufficient luggage space will be final.

F. First Aid Kit

1. The vehicle must contain a suitable first aid kit permanently marked with the plate number of the vehicle.  A standard kit purchased from a chemist or auto store will be deemed adequate. .

G. Internal Condition

1. The interior of the vehicle must be water and wind tight.
2. The seats must be properly cushioned and covered.
3. The floor of the passenger compartment must be provided with a proper carpet, mat or other covering.

H. Windows and Window tints

1. Side windows in the passenger compartment must be capable of being opened by passengers or the vehicle must be air conditioned.  If the side windows are not capable of being opened (in the case of vehicles with between 5 and 8 seats) a suitable means of escape must be provided e.g. emergency escape hammer.
2. Vehicles fitted with Manufacturers tinted windows only will be accepted & the windows must still allow a clear view of the inside of the vehicle to and observer standing outside the vehicle. The authorised officer’s opinion in this respect will be final.  Any tinted window film applied after purchase is not acceptable.

I. LPG Conversions

1. LPG conversions must have a 150mm to 230mm crumple zone of metal between the rear of the vehicle and the gas tank.  Fitting must be by an approved fitter and all parts of the tank system shall be subject to certification.  The tank and installation must be re-tested annually and the appropriate certificate produced to the Licensing Officer before a test certificate will be issued.  NOTE:  Only multi-point sequential systems will be permitted.

J. Passenger lifts

1. Any vehicle fitted with a hydraulic lift must have a certificate issued under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) and shall have the vehicle thoroughly examined by a competent person on a frequency prescribed by them but not greater than once every 6 months.  The examination certificate must be produced to the authorized officer prior to the annual or 6 monthly inspection.

2. Any sliding/mechanical ramps must be approved by the manufacturer/vehicle supplier and be risk assessed by the owner in order to establish that the safe working load is sufficient for all needs and that the ramps are fit for purpose.

K. Vehicle Conversions

1. Any vehicle without M1 Whole Vehicle/low volume approval must have undergone a test of Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval at a DVSA Test Station.  The original IVA certificate must be produced to the authorised officer as proof of the Individual Vehicle Approval examination before a test certificate will be issued.

 

Conditions of Licence

1. Operators

The proprietor shall not use or permit the vehicle to be used in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside as a private hire vehicle unless the vehicle’s operator holds a current operator’s licence issued by the Council.

2. Drivers

The proprietor of a private hire vehicle shall not employ as a driver thereof any person who does not have a current driver’s licence issued by the Council. If the proprietor permits or employs any other person to drive the vehicle as a private hire vehicle, they must, before that person commences to drive the vehicle, ensure that the driver holds a current private hire driver’s licence issued by the Council and shall ensure that they continue to hold such a licence during the whole period of their employment by the proprietor.

3. Identification Plates and Display of Licence Number

a) The plates identifying the vehicle as a private hire vehicle and required to be exhibited on the vehicle pursuant to Section 48(6) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 shall be securely fixed to the rear exterior of the vehicle in a conspicuous position either immediately above or below the bumper and in such manner as to be easily removed by an authorised officer or Constable.

b) The proprietor shall also cause to be securely fixed and maintained inside the vehicle in such a position as to be clearly visible either by sight or touch at all times to persons being conveyed therein a plate supplied by the Council containing the number of this licence and such other information as the Council may provide.

c) The proprietor or driver of a private hire vehicle shall ensure that the identification plates are maintained and kept in such a condition that the information contained on the identification plates is clearly visible to public view at all times.

4. Licence and Return of Identification Plates

The proprietor shall upon the expiry (without immediate renewal), revocation or suspension of this licence forthwith return to the Council the identification plates issued to him by the Council when granting this licence, or ensure that such plates are destroyed so as to make them unusable.

5. Provisions regulating how a private hire vehicle shall be furnished, first aid kit, etc.

The proprietor of the private hire vehicle shall:
a) Provide sufficient means by which any person in the private hire vehicle may communicate with the driver during the course of the hiring.
b) Cause the interior of the vehicle to be kept wind and water tight.
c) Cause the seats in the passenger compartment to be properly cushioned and covered.
d) Provide windows at the sides and rear of the vehicle. Side windows in the passenger compartment must be capable of being opened by passengers.
e) Cause the floor in the passenger compartment to be provided with a proper carpet, mat or other vehicle covering.
f) Provide facilities for the conveyance of luggage safely and protected from inclement weather.
g) Provide a suitable first aid kit permanently marked with the plate number of the vehicle.  A standard kit purchased from a chemist or auto store will be deemed adequate. The first aid kit must be carried in the vehicle in such a position as to be readily available for use.

6. Fittings

No fittings other than those approved by the Council may be attached to or carried upon the inside or outside of the vehicle.

7. Radio Equipment

The proprietor shall ensure that any radio equipment or any other type of electronic communication device, navigation device or dispatch equipment fitted to a private hire vehicle is at all times kept in a safe and serviceable condition and maintained in proper working order. Such equipment must not be positioned in such a way that it obscures any part of the driver’s view of the road and must not be fixed to the windscreen of the vehicle within any part of the area which is swept by the windscreen wipers.

8. Maintenance of Vehicle

a) The vehicle and all its fittings and equipment shall at all times when the vehicle is in use or available for hire be kept in an efficient, safe, tidy and clean condition and all relevant statutory requirements (including in particular those contained in the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations) shall be fully complied with. The vehicle shall comply with the manufacturer’s specification at all times.

b) The vehicle will at all times be subject to test and inspection and should it be found that a vehicle is not being properly maintained or that any part or fitting is not in good working order, a notice will be served on the proprietor prohibiting them from using the vehicle until the defect has been remedied.

c) If a vehicle is wheelchair accessible, any wheelchair ramps, wheelchair securing straps, wheelchair seatbelt extensions and any other equipment necessary for the safe transportation of wheelchair users must be kept in the vehicle at all times. Such equipment must be of the correct type for the vehicle in which it is being carried and must at all times be in a safe, serviceable and clean condition. Any such equipment must be permanently marked with the registration number of the vehicle in which it is carried.

d) The proprietor of the licensed vehicle shall ensure that all drivers carry out a visual inspection of the vehicle prior to its use. This check shall consist of as a minimum ensuring that all tyres are roadworthy, all lights and indicators are working, the windscreen wipers and wash bottle are working effectively, and that in the event of a puncture, the wheel can be either replaced with a roadworthy spare or inflated by other means without compromising the safety of the passengers or other road users. A written record of these checks must be kept in the vehicle and produced for inspection when requested by an authorised officer.

e) Any requirement by an authorised Officer or testing mechanic for bodywork or mechanical repair shall be complied with within the timeframe specified and in any case, the vehicle shall be presented for re-inspection within 28 days. Any failure to comply with such notice will result in the vehicle licence being suspended.

9. Vehicle Condition Standard

All licensed private hire vehicles must be maintained in an acceptable condition, including all bodywork, paint, mechanical components, electrical components & systems and interior.

The vehicle must be regularly serviced at least in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations and taking into account the additional demands of private hire use. Cosmetically, the vehicle should be kept clean and tidy, with no significant bodywork damage or wear and tear to the interior.

The following will be considered when deciding if a vehicle is in an acceptable condition:
1. Mechanically, no item should show significant wear, deterioration or cause any concern that the vehicle is less than 100% safe for use on the road.
2. Bodywork should show no significant damage, dents or excessive scratching. The overall appearance of the vehicle should be excellent and there should be no rust or deterioration on any of the vehicle’s body panels.
3. The paint should have no signs of dullness or fading and the colour of all body panels should match.
4. The underside of the vehicle should be free from any excessive damage and should not show any signs of rust or other deterioration.
5. The interior of the vehicle, including all carpets, seats, boot lining and other trim should be clean and showing minimum signs of wear. The interior and trim must be free of any tears, cuts or burn marks and should be dry and hold no offensive odours.

6. The vehicle’s previous test history may be taken into consideration when deciding if a vehicle is in an acceptable condition.
In addition to the above points, if the vehicle is tested and fails the test the extent that the plates are removed from the vehicle, it is clear that the vehicle owner has failed to maintain it in acceptable condition. In these circumstances, the authorised officer may require that the vehicle be permanently removed from the fleet and the Council will not license that vehicle again.

Vehicle proprietors are required to keep a schedule of the maintenance which has been carried out on the vehicle. This must include the following:
1. Documentary evidence that the vehicle has been regularly serviced at least in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.
2. Documentary evidence of any work carried out on the vehicle, including receipts for parts etc.
3. Documentary evidence that regular checks are carried out on the vehicle both by the drivers (on a daily basis) and by the owner (on a weekly basis) to include tyres, lights, glass, fluid levels and overall condition of the vehicle.

NOTE: The authorised officer’s opinion of whether a vehicle is in an acceptable condition will be final.

10. Vehicle Emissions Standard

As from 1 February 2018, the emissions emitted by the vehicle must comply with the relevant Euro emissions standard for the age of the vehicle:
(a) Vehicles first registered up to 31 December 2005 must comply with the Euro 3 emissions standard.
(b) Vehicles first registered up to 31 December 2010 must comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard.
(c) Vehicles first registered up to 31 August 2015 must comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard.
(d) Vehicles first registered after 1 September 2015 must comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard.
(e) As the emissions standards for vehicles continue to become more restrictive, licensed private hire vehicles will be required to comply with the emissions standards relevant to the vehicle at the time of its first registration.

11. Alteration of Vehicle

No vehicle can be altered in any way without prior approval of the Licensing Department.  Any alteration must meet Conditions of Application K.1. Above.

12. Damage to Vehicle

Any damage to a private hire vehicle materially affecting the safety, performance or appearance of the vehicle shall be reported to the Council by the proprietor in accordance with Section 50(3) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (as soon as practicable and in any case within 72 hours) and until such damage is repaired to the satisfaction of the Council, the vehicle shall not be used for hire.

13. Notification of Convictions to Council

The proprietor of a private hire vehicle shall within 7 days disclose to the Council in writing details of any conviction, caution or any other order including but not restricted to ASBO, CRASBO, VOO, Drink banning order etc. imposed on him/her (or, if the proprietor is a company or partnership, on any of the directors or partners) during the period of the licence.

14. Vehicle Insurance

The proprietor of a private hire vehicle shall keep in force in relation to the user of that vehicle a Policy of Insurance issued by an Insurance Company approved by the Council covering use for hire and reward, passenger liability, passenger luggage and such other matters as the Council may specify from time to time and comply with the requirements of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
On being so required by an authorised officer, the proprietor shall produce to that officer for examination a Certificate of Insurance issued by an approved Insurance Company in respect of the vehicle for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act 1988, provided that if the proprietor fails to produce such certificate to the officer on request, the proprietor shall within five days of such request produce it to that officer or to any other authorised officer at the office of the Council.

15. Carriage of Persons, Animals and Luggage

a) The proprietor or driver shall not permit the private hire vehicle to be used to carry a greater number of passengers than the number prescribed in the licence.
b) Where child seats are used they must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
c) The proprietor or driver shall not permit any animal to ride in the vehicle except an animal in the custody or control of the hirer.

16. Vehicles fitted with Taximeter

If the vehicle is fitted with a taximeter it shall be attached and maintained as to comply with the following requirements, that is to say:
a) The proprietor shall cause the taximeter to be of a type approved by the Council and to be maintained in a sound mechanical condition at all times and to be located within the vehicle in accordance with the reasonable instructions of the authorised officer.
b) The proprietor shall not use or permit to be used a taximeter that the Council has not sealed to prevent unauthorised adjustment of a taximeter.
c) The proprietor shall cause the taximeter to be fitted with a key to bring the machinery into action and cause the word “HIRED” to appear on the face of the meter as soon as the vehicle is on hire.
d) The proprietor shall ensure that when the vehicle is not hired the key can be locked and the machinery kept inactive and that the meter shows no fare at that time.
e) The proprietor shall ensure that the taximeter shall not have a display sign “FOR HIRE” at any time.
f) The proprietor shall ensure that when the taximeter is brought into action the fare and extras will be shown legibly on the face of the meter and shall be no more than permitted by the fare table displayed in the vehicle.
g) The proprietor shall ensure that the word “FARE” shall be printed on the face of the meter in clear letters so as to apply to the fare recorded thereon.
h) The proprietor shall ensure that the taximeter is in such a position in the private hire vehicle that figures recorded thereon are clearly visible to any passenger being carried therein.
i) The proprietor or driver shall ensure that the dial of the taximeter is sufficiently illuminated that when in use it is visible to all passengers and cause the dial of the taximeter to be kept properly illuminated throughout any part of a hiring which is during the hours of darkness as defined for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and also at any other time at the request of the hirer.
j) The proprietor shall ensure that the taximeter and all its fittings are affixed to the private hire vehicle with Council’s seals or by other means so that it shall not be practicable for any person to tamper with the taximeter except by breaking or damaging or permanently displacing the seals and other fittings.
k) The proprietor undertakes to ensure that the taximeter will not be replaced without the prior permission of the Council.

17. Tampering with Taximeter

a) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this condition the proprietor of a private hire vehicle shall not tamper with or permit any other person to tamper with the taximeter or its fittings or connections after it has been fitted to the private hire vehicle and sealed by an authorised officer, and shall not wilfully break or tamper or permit any other person to break or tamper with any seal or mark placed on the taximeter or its connections.
b) If a taximeter affixed to a private hire vehicle is found to be defective or inaccurate or if the fare table is changed, the proprietor of the private hire vehicle or a person authorised by him, may break the seals of the taximeter for the purpose of effecting the necessary repairs or alterations, provided that the proprietor shall, within twenty-four hours after breaking the seals, give or cause to be given notice of the action which he has taken in writing to an authorised officer at the Licensing Office specifying the number of the licence of the private hire vehicle and the maker’s name and number of the taximeter and provided also that nothing in this condition shall be deemed to authorise a private hire vehicle to be used or continued in use as such with that taximeter after the seals on any taximeter with which the private hire vehicle is provided have been broken as aforesaid and before the taximeter has again been certified to register correctly.

18. Display of Fare Table

The proprietor shall ensure that:
a) A copy of the fare table in a form approved by the Council is exhibited inside the private hire vehicle at all times.
b) The fare table is not concealed from view or rendered illegible while the vehicle is being used for hire.

19. Signs, Notices, etc.

a) All licensed private hire vehicles must display the Operator approved door signs. These signs must be displayed on the front doors of the vehicle. In the case of an MPV or minibus type, the signs can be either on the front doors or on the middle or sliding door and a sign placed symmetrically on the opposing bodywork, and on a rear door/s.
The operator is responsible for supplying approved door signs to the vehicle proprietor.
Only signage that has been approved by an authorised officer can be displayed on licensed Private Hire vehicles.
Once approved, a copy of the sign should be provided to the licensing section.
The following guidance must be taken into account when designing signage:-
i) The Council will not permit an operator to use a business name and/or phone number which is similar to one already approved.
ii) Door signs should clearly display the operator business name, contact telephone number and the words “ADVANCED BOOKING ONLY” which shall be displayed in conjunction with the name and telephone number of the operator. The said sign shall use letters at least 2” high and shall give prominence to “ADVANCED BOOKINGS ONLY”.
iii) No signage will be given approval if it is deemed to be misleading, i.e. is likely to cause a person to believe that any Private Hire vehicle is a Hackney Carriage.
iv) The words “TAXI”, “TAX” or “CAB” whether in the singular or plural, or the words “MINI CAB”, “PUBLIC HIRE CAR” or “FOR HIRE” must not be used.
b) The proprietor or driver shall cause to be affixed and maintained in a conspicuous position in accordance with the directions of the Council any sign or notices required from time to time by the Council.

20. Change of Address

A proprietor shall notify the Council in writing of any change of details as provided on the application form during the period of the licence within 5 working days of such change taking place.
Any failure to comply with this condition may attract an administration fee.

21. Transfer of Licence

If the proprietor wishes to transfer the private hire vehicle to another person, he shall before such transfer, give notice thereof in writing to the Council specifying the name and address of the person to whom the private hire vehicle will be transferred and the licence shall be deemed to be revoked if the Council disapproves the transfer of the licence to that person and the private hire vehicle is or has been transferred to him. The Council will not disapprove the transfer of the licence to a person except upon the ground that he is not a fit and proper person to hold the licence.


Contact Information
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Tameside MBC
Tame Street Depot
Tame Street
Stalybridge
Tameside
SK15 1ST
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0161 342 4262
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0161 301 3047

 

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