Licensing Service coronavirus update….
The District Council have robust preparations in place and our priority is to keep all our key services running and support our communities in every way we can. Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus webpage for up to date information on our services, and the latest advice.
Our licensing team will be taking on board any government advice regarding personal health and safety when dealing with the licensing trade/s and members of the public.
The Department for transport has released the following document for Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers and Operators:
Department for Transport - Local Transport Restart (PDF Document, 0.37 Mb)
Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear - people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance.
Clearly if absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.
Critical Worker Status:
Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable’ people may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home; requests for children to attend school should be discussed with the school.”
Update on changes in the way the licensing service carry out their duties.
- Vehicle visual inspections – If you have a visual appointment you are asked to contact the licensing team upon arrival at the Council Offices by telephone number 01530 454838 and wait in your vehicle. An officer will visually inspect the vehicle from the outside. The 2m social distancing guidance must be adhered to at all times.
- Should you be submitting any original identification or paperwork as part of any application, this needs to be left in an envelope clearly marked for licensing and posted through one of the designated post boxes at the Council Offices or posted to us – The Council Offices are now closed to members of the public. We encourage you to scan/photograph applications where possible and email them to email@example.com Payments can be made by contacting us on 01530 454545. Unfortunately for DBS disclosures applications we require original application form and identification.
The Licensing team have recently received several enquiries with regards to safety screens in licensed vehicles.
We are aware that new safety screens are being sold in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However there is a lack of information about safety testing or certification. This includes the practicalities of screens and also in relation to the transmission of the virus.
We recognise that these are difficult and unprecedented times , and therefore we are taking a realistic approach to the enforcement of our policies. Any decision to install a safety screen in their vehicle during the current pandemic will be a matter for vehicle owners, drivers and operators to consider. However, The Council will not accept liability in circumstances in which a screen causes any injury whatsoever.
We ask that the following guidance is considered if you are to continue operating or driving a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle and wish to install a screen/shield.
The screen/shield should:
- Not interfere with or compromise any operating or safety features in the vehicle (including airbags, handbrake, gearstick etc) or the vehicle type approval
- Not be made of materials that will increase the fire risk in the vehicle
- Be transparent enough so as not to interfere with the safe use of the vehicle, and to enable the driver and passengers to see each other; and remain clear of scratches, clouding or stickers which would impede the drivers or passengers’ visibility.
- Be adequately and safely secured and not interfere with the safe access and egress of the driver or passengers or become easily detached during normal use.
- Be of a suitable material to be adequately disinfected between bookings and at the start and end of the working day
- Inform insurers about the intention to fit such a device and ensure their insurance will not be invalidated as a result
- Fit/install screens at your own responsibility and in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and recommendations
- Understand that this is a temporary measure and we reserve the right to require their removal with reasonable notice
- Be aware depending on the type fitted (full front/back partition or driver only) the front passenger seat in the vehicle may be unusable in which case the maximum number of passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry will be affected
It is also imperative to remember that the installation of a screen will only offer protection if you also:
1. Adhere to a strict and regular cleaning regime with appropriate products
2. Wear a face covering when passengers are in the vehicle
3. Encourage passengers to also wear a face covering
4. If possible try to avoid front seat use
5. Keep windows open a little to allow for a fresh flow of air
6. Turn air recycling off - heating and air conditioning should use external air
7. Limit handling of cash by utilising contactless card payments
If an enforcement officer has any concerns about the use of a partition screen in a licensed vehicle, they will discuss with the owner of the vehicle and may require the removal of the screen, they will explain any reasons in writing.
Advice on Sanitisation and Face Coverings:
Those who are working have a responsibility to take all possible precautions to keep themselves and their vehicles as safe and sanitised to help stop the spread of the virus. We advise you to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces using cleaning products that are touched regularly i.e. door handles, seat belts and buckles and other obvious hard surfaces touched by a passenger, including areas that may have been infected following a passenger coughing or sneezing.
Face coverings do not replace social distancing but are advisable when in an enclosed space and where there is difficulty socially distancing.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers has been issued by the government at the following link. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
Please ensure that you read the following document on the site rules of the Vehicle Testing and Depot Site before attending:
- Vehicle testing and depot site rules (PDF Document, 0.25 Mb)
- Vehicle renewal tests –Vehicle renewal testing is currently being delivered. Please note that due to staff absence due to covid-19 there is limited testing capacity at our depot and therefore we may need to change testing appointments accordingly and sometimes at short notice.
- 6-Monthly vehicle test - Due to limited testing capacity there will be delays to these tests being carried out. We will contact any affected licence holders accordingly.
- Brand new applications – New vehicle applications (first time plating) have been temporarily suspended.
- Any vehicle that is to be inspected at our Depot must be presented in a clean and valeted condition. Drivers that present vehicles must adhere to the testers instructions. Vehicles that are presented un-valeted will be refused an inspection and may not be permitted any further tests due to the restricted testing capacity. If a vehicle is refused, a charge may be applied.
- We are no longer currently able to offer a DVSA MOT’s for licensed vehicles for the time being. We need to ensure that we maintain our resources for providing renewal inspections.
- From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please see further information at the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-from-30-march-2020
- We may need to cancel or reschedule a vehicle test appointment at short notice. Again if you have an appointment and have/or are showing symptoms of a virus, please contact us to rearrange your appointment as soon as possible. Please do not attend the Depot with any signs or symptoms of a virus as we may need to refuse a vehicle test.
- We will communicate with you how you will receive your licence.
- Medicals – We anticipate there being delays with drivers being able to obtain medicals. Any driver that receives a medical letter from us will be given further time to provide a medical in these instances. Further details will be provided to you should your medical be due.
- New driver applications and knowledge tests – we are not currently providing any knowledge tests or accepting any new Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver applications.
Our customer services team is now prioritising phone and email contact - OUR OFFICES ARE NOW CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
This is following the government’s guidance on social distancing and is in the interests of everyone’s health and safety.
All Taxi drivers based in North West Leicestershire must be registered with us. This means we can protect the public and support the industry
For further information please select the relevant section above or on the right.
Changes to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy and conditions
From 1st September 2020 the Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence Policy and Conditions (PDF Document, 0.69 Mb) and the Private Hire Vehicle Licence Policy and Conditions (PDF Document, 0.68 Mb) have changed.
If you have any queries regarding the conditions, they should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
General information for Taxi Drivers
CCTV Code of Practice
If you would like to install CCTV cameras in your vehicle please read the CCTV Code of Practice (PDF Document, 0.1 Mb)
Taxis and Seatbelts
Taxi drivers should be aware that they may be responsible if any seatbelt offences are committed. The Highway Code details how children should be restrained whilst travelling in a car.
Smoking in Licensed Vehicles
It is an offence to smoke in a licensed hackney carriage or private hire vehicle. This is the case even when the driver is off duty as the vehicle always remains a licensed vehicle and not a privately owned vehicle.
If drivers are found to be smoking in their vehicles they will be issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Last updated: Tue 29 September, 2020 @ 10:59