Agenda item

Interim Review of Policy and Conditions relating to Hackney Carriages, Private Hire vehicles and their drivers and operators

Report of the Group Director of Services


The Group Director of Services submitted a report (previously circulated) for Members to give consideration to changes to Darlington Borough Council’s Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy 2021 following the impact Covid-19 and rapidly increasing running costs has had on the taxi trade.


It was reported that on 26 November 2022, Council approved a new Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy which was implemented on 1 January 2021 and this policy had been developed following due process and included for the first time statutory standards issued by the Department for Transport (DfT); and the non-statutory best practice guide produced in 2006 which complements the statutory standards.


It had been recognised that since 2006 there had been many issues that had impacted on the trade and a revised best practice guide to reflect this was open for public consultation but it was unlikely that this guidance would be formally implemented until 2023.


It was reported that although the DfT recommend policies are reviewed every five years, interim reviews should also be considered where significant issues arise.


On 28 April 2022 a liaison meeting was held with representatives of the trade and Licensing and proposed changes were raised that would help the trade in relation to Vehicle age restrictions; Topographical knowledge test; and Window tint.  Full details of the proposed changes along with the rationale was also attached to the submitted report.


RESOLVED – That Members of the General Licensing Committee approve the proposed amendments to the Policy subject to public consultation.


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