Agenda item

Interim Review of Policies and Conditions relating to Hackney Carriages, Private Hire Vehicles and their Drivers and Operators following consultation

Report of the Group Director of Services


The Group Director of Services submitted a report (previously circulated) for Members to give consideration to amendments to the Darlington Borough Council’s  Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy 2021, following public consultation which was authorised by this General Licensing Committee on 6 June 2022.


The submitted report provided information on the existing policy which was approved by Full Council on 26 November 2020, and implemented on 1 January 2021.


It was highlighted that the non-statutory best practice guide produced in 2006 was in the process of being revised and consulted upon due to the many issues that had impacted the trade, however it was unlikely that this guidance would be formally implemented until 2023.


It was reported that the Department for Transport recommends that policies are reviewed every five years but that interim reviews should be considered where significant issues arise; and on 28 April 2022 a liaison meeting was held with representatives of the trade and Licensing where proposals were raised that would help the trade maintain their business through these difficult times.


The proposed changes relating to vehicle age restrictions; topographical knowledge test; and window tint were highlighted in full in the submitted report along with extracts of the current policy and relevant sections of the Best Practice Guidance document.


On 6 June 2022 the General Licensing Committee approved these changes to be published for public consultation which was carried out between 13 June and 17 July 2022 and details of this public consultation, including the responses from the various consultees where detailed in the submitted report.


Members discussed the proposed changes and in particular the need to encourage the trade to increase the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles; welcomed in particular the change to no age restriction of vehicles provided engines are compliant with Euro 6 standards by 1 April 2023; and if there were any safeguarding issues to allowing no tint restrictions on vehicles.


RESOLVED – That the proposal for amendments to the Policy be forwarded to Full Council for final approval.

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