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Policy & Conditions for Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licences


The proprietor shall at all time comply with 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
“Hackney carriage” has the same meaning as the Town Police Clauses Act 1874.
“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 hackney carriage.
“The proprietor” has the same meaning as in section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
“Taximeter” has the same meaning as section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Measuring Instruments (Taximeters) Regulations 2006.
“Driver” means the holder of a hackney carriage driver’s licence issued by the Council.
“Private hire vehicle” has the same meaning as section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Hackney Carriage Licence Policy

(A) Before a licence is granted in respect of a hackney carriage 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 sound mechanical condition and conforms with the specifications laid down by the Transport For London Public Carriage Office for the construction and licensing of motor cabs in London or be of a type included on a list of vehicles approved by Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council for use as hackney carriages within the Borough of Tameside. The list of approved vehicles will be updated regularly by the council.
(ii) There is in force in relation to the vehicle a policy of insurance covering use for hire and reward, passenger liability and passenger luggage, and comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act, 1988.
(iii) 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.
(4) 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
Any licensed hackney vehicle must:-
(a) Be a right-hand drive vehicle.
(b) If the vehicle is not an FX/TX type vehicle, it must be black in colour.
(c) If the vehicle is an FX/TX type vehicle, it may be any single colour or two-tone, but must not be multi-coloured.
(d) Be of sufficient seating capacity to carry a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8 passengers.
(e) Have adequate lighting for the interior of the vehicle and an adequate heating system for the driver and passengers, with means of control by the driver.
(f) Have adequate insulation for all electrical leads and cables which must, where liable to be affected by exposure to water, petrol or oil, be adequately protected. All electrical circuits must be protected by suitable fuses and battery leads must be so placed and protected that they cannot be a source of danger.
(g) Carry a spare wheel and tool kit to change wheels or another means of repairing a puncture at the roadside without compromising the safety of passengers or other road users.
(h) Carry a suitable first aid kit (see condition No 5 for details).
(i) Be fitted with an illuminated roof sign displaying the work “TAXI” (see condition No 17 for details).
(j) Be fitted with a dual tariff taximeter of a type approved by the Council, linked to a “FOR HIRE” sign capable of display.
(k) Not convey luggage by means of the roof.

(C) Age Policy
1. No vehicle will be first licensed unless the vehicle is less than 7 years old from the date of manufacture as per the vehicle registration document (V5).
2. If an existing licensed hackney carriage 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).      
3. No vehicle will be relicensed once the vehicle has reached 15 years old from the date of manufacture as per the vehicle registration document (V5).

Conditions of Licence

1. Driver
No person being the proprietor of a hackney carriage shall employ as a driver thereof any person who does not have a current driving licence and a current hackney carriage driver’s licence issued by the Council.

2. Proprietors to Retain Driver’s Licences
The proprietor shall retain a copy of the hackney carriage driver’s licences of all drivers driving his / her vehicle and produce the same to an authorised officer or Constable on request.

3. Identification Plates and Display of Licence Number
(a) The plates identifying the vehicle as a hackney carriage and required to be exhibited on the vehicle pursuant to section 47(2) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 shall be securely fixed to the front and rear exterior of the vehicle in a conspicuous position either immediately above or below the bumper and in such a 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 visible either by sight or touch at all times to persons conveyed therein a plate supplied by the council containing the number of the licence and such other information as the Council may prescribe.
(c) The proprietor of a hackney carriage 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 expiry (without immediate renewal), revocation or suspension of this licence forthwith return to the Council the identification places issued to him by the Council when granting this licence, or ensure that such plates are destroyed so as to make them unusable.

5. Provision of First Aid Kit
The proprietor of a hackney carriage shall 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. Fitting
No fittings other than those approved by the Council may be attached to or carried upon the inside of outside of the vehicle,

7. Use of 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 hackney carriage 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
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 must comply with the manufacturers specification at all times.

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

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.

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.

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.

The vehicle proprietor must keep a written record of all servicing, maintenance, repairs and safety checks undertaken on the vehicle and make these records available to an Authorised Officer on demand.

9. Vehicle Condition Standard
All licensed hackney carriage 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 hackney carriage 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
From 1 February 2018, the exhaust 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 hackney 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 material alteration or change in the specification, design, condition or appearance of the vehicle shall be made without the approval of the Council at any time while the licence is in force.

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

13. Notification of Convictions to Council
The proprietor of a hackney carriage shall within 7 days disclose to the Council in writing details of any convictions, cautions or any other orders 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 hackney carriage 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 Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1972.

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 a hackney carriage for the purpose of Part VI of the Road Traffic Act 1972, 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 any other authorised officer at the office of the Council.

15. Carriage of Persons, Animals and Luggage
(i) The proprietor or driver shall not permit the hackney carriage to be used to carry a greater number of passengers than the number prescribed in the licence.
(ii) The proprietor or driver shall not permit any person whatsoever to be conveyed in the front of a London type cab used as a hackney carriage.
(iii) The proprietor or driver shall allow only one person to be conveyed in the front of a vehicle other than a London type cab used as a hackney carriage.
(iv) 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.
(v) The vehicle must not convey luggage by means of the roof.

16. Not to carry Person Having Notifiable Disease
A proprietor or driver of a hackney carriage shall not knowingly convey or permit to be conveyed in the carriage any person having a notifiable disease, the dead body of any person who has died suffering from any such disease, or any clothing, bedding or other articles whatsoever which is known to have been in contact with any such person or body, and shall immediately upon discovering that such a person, body or article has been unknowingly conveyed in the carriage, notify the fact to the Community Physician and the Council.

17. Taximeter and Fare Table
The proprietor of a hackney carriage shall cause the same to be provided with a taximeter so constructed, attached and maintained as to comply with the following requirements, that is to say:-
(i) 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.
(ii) The proprietor or driver shall cause the taximeter to be set to correspond with the fare table displayed in the vehicle, as adopted by the Council from time to time
(iii) The proprietor shall not use or permit to be used a taximeter that the Council has not sealed.
(iv) The proprietor or driver shall ensure that when the taximeter is brought into operation the permitted extras will be shown legibly on the face of the taximeter and shall be no more than permitted by the approved fare table.
(v) The proprietor or driver shall ensure that a copy of the fare table supplied by the Council from time to time is exhibited inside the carriage at all times.
(vi) The proprietor or driver shall ensure that the fare table is not concealed from view or rendered illegible.

18. Authorised Fares and charges when operating within the Borough of Tameside
(a) When a hackney carriage is standing or plying for hire the fare for any hiring shall be calculated in accordance with the fare table for all journeys within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside unless the hirer expresses his / her desire to engage a hackney carriage by time, when the rate of fare shall be calculated by time. Such rate of fare shall be agreed in advance prior to the commencement of the journey.
(b) Regulated Distance
The rate of fares fixed by the Council shall include rates or fares for any journey commencing within Tameside and ending at any point within Greater Manchester, but outside Tameside, less than four miles from the nearest Tameside boundary.

19. Roof Sign “TAXI”
The proprietor of a hackney carriage shall cause the carriage to be provided with a roof sign of approved pattern so constructed as to comply with the following requirements, that is to say:-
(i) The sign shall bear the word “TAXI” in plain letters at least two inches in height and not more than four inches in height.
(ii) The sign shall be capable of being so operated that it indicates clearly and conveniently to persons outside the carriage whether or not the carriage is for hire and for that purpose it shall be capable of being suitable illuminated.
(iii) The sign shall be affixed to the roof in a proper manner and safely wired to the taximeter.

20. Signs Notices, etc.
(i) No signs, notices, advertisements, plates, marks, numbers, letters, figures, symbols, emblems or devices whatsoever shall be displayed on, in or from the vehicle except as may be required by any statutory provision (including byelaws) or required or permitted by these conditions, provided however that this condition shall not apply to any indication on a taxi meter fitted to the vehicle or to a sign which:-
a) contains the name, address, and telephone number of the proprietor or operator and is displayed on the vehicle other than on the roof or glass parts of the vehicle; or
b) contains advertising unrelated to the hackney carriage/private hire trade, meets the Advertising Standards Authority guidance and does not advertise alcohol, gambling, tobacco, political / religious causes or anything else deemed inappropriate by the authorised officer.
Such advertising may be displayed on the bodywork of a vehicle but must not encroach on to any of the vehicles windows, mirrors, lights, door handles, steps, ramps or other statutory signs as required by the Council.
The proprietor must seek prior permission from the Licensing Department before entering into any advertising agreements and a facsimile of the advertisement they intend to display must be supplied to the Licensing Department for approval.
Whenever an advertisement is removed from a vehicle, the proprietor must present the vehicle for a bodywork inspection by an authorised officer before any further advertisements are applied to the vehicle.
(ii) The proprietor 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.

21. Change of Address
The proprietor shall notify the Council in writing of any change of his address during the period of the licence within 7 days of such change taking place.

22. Transfer of Licence
If the proprietor wishes to transfer the hackney carriage 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 hackney carriage will be transferred, and the licence shall be deemed to be revoked if the Council disapproves the transfer of the licence to the person and the hackney carriage 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.
The Council may require the intended new licensee to submit an enhanced CRB check (or its equivalent) in order to ensure they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

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