Conditions for Drivers and Operators

On 4 November 2015, the Regulatory and Appeals Committees approved the following condition changes. The conditions listed below and summarised for your ease of reference, came into force on 1 January 2016.

Please note:

Items 8 (a) and (b) relate to Private Hire Operators and Hackney Carriage Proprietors.

Item 8 (c) relates to all Licensed personnel.

Item 9 relates to Hackney Carriage Proprietors.

Item 11 relates to Private Hire Operators.

If you require further information, please contact your trade representative or visit our website at www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire and check the ‘what’s new’ section.

(1) Abusive Language, Threats Of Violence

Violence and abusive behaviour which would include any attempted, threatened, or actual conduct that endangers or is likely to endanger the health or safety of Enforcement Officers carrying out their duty will likely result in a suspension or in the most extreme cases revocation of license.

The licensing service is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all, any form of violence or abusive behaviour committed by or against any member of staff is not acceptable.

(2) Suitability Of An Applicant

The resolution is to adopt the definition of what is a fit and proper person. Although this is not set out in law, the generally accepted test is:

“Would you allow your son daughter, mother, spouse or other person you care about get into this vehicle with this person alone?"

The overriding consideration is to prevent licences being given to or used by those who would be by definition, ‘not suitable’

(3) Past Licensing History

When assessing an application for licence the Licensing Service shall take into account all past history in relation to offending and conduct. Each application will be decided on its merits.

Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles are by their very nature more likely than other methods of transport to be used by people who for one reason or another are vulnerable. Therefore, it is important to place public safety at the forefront of our decision-making.

(4) New Applicants

All new applicants will be required to give full and frank disclosure of all criminal convictions spent or otherwise failure to provide accurate information will normally result in a refusal of licence

It is an offence for any person knowingly or recklessly to make a false declaration or to omit any material particular in giving information required by the application for a licence. Where an applicant has been found to have made a false statement or a false declaration with the intention to deceive on their application for the grant or renewal of a licence, the licence will be refused.

(5) Drugs History

An applicant’s previous drug history will be taken into consideration when determining the issue of a licence. This is to ensure that every step as been considered before the granting of a licence.

Applicants with a drug history can be asked to provide official documentation to prove that they are ‘drug free’. This would normally be via the applicants own doctor, a recognised drug-testing specialist or the Councils own Occupational Health Doctor. It will be a condition of licence that a re-test can be asked to be undertaken at any time.

(6) Child Sexual Exploitation

A CSE condition is being introduced which requires mandatory attendance at CSE training. CSE training will be included within existing training modules and will be approved by Bradford’s Safe Guarding unit. This will assist in giving new and existing drivers the confidence to recognise and report child sexual exploitation.

(7) Disclosure and Barring Service

The service intends to move all DBS applications online. At present DBS checks are processed manually using a paper system. The move to electronic submissions enables applicants to view their current DBS online. The Licensing Service can check the status of DBS certificates without having to renew DBS checks.

Once an electronic submission has been done and the report received by the applicant it will be a mandatory requirement that all drivers and operators subscribe within 19 days to the DBS Up-Date Service. This will allow officers to check an applicant’s current online DBS status to ensure that the certificate is up to date.

(8) Electronic- Communication

(Implementation date will be sent separately)

(a) The Licensing Service recognises the importance that Operators and Proprietors keep up to date with current information. In order to do this more effectively it will be a requirement that you maintain a valid e-mail address. Key licensing matters, including changes to policy and renewal reminders etc, will be sent to the email address. Failure to maintain a valid e-mail address could result in important information being missed and may lead to a suspension of licence.

(b) It is essential that all Operators (PHV) play an active role in the running of their business.

To facilitate this, the Licensing Service will arrange Operator Business Meetings, which will take place every three months or as service needs, may require. Each meeting necessitates

the attendance of the Licensed Operator or the Operator’s designated representative. The designated representative of the Operator shall have the authority to make decisions in this area. To facilitate this, an application form should be completed and approval given by the Service. However, it is noted that each Licensed Operator will be required to attend at least one Business Meeting in person. There is a mandatory requirement of 75% attendance overall.

(C)All licensed personnel are required to visit the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire website on a monthly basis to read the ‘what’s new’ segment where the latest current and relevant information can be found.

(9) Intended Use Policy

(For further details visit: www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire)

Applicants who do not intend to ply for hire within the Bradford District shall not be granted a Hackney Carriage Licence.

(10) E- Cigarettes

The use of e-cigarettes in Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles is not permitted.

In coming to this decision we have not only taken into consideration health and safety concerns but also feedback from drivers who state that a blanket ban will serve to clear up any confusion regarding smoking be allowed in licensed vehicles.

(11) Private Hire Decals

The option to choose either magnetic or permanent Decals has been removed.

Only tamper proof permanent Decals shall be fitted to private hire vehicles. This brings the Licensing Service into line with policy changes proposed by the Combined Authority working group regarding the standardisation of Decals across Districts. (Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees, Rossendale, York)

The Service does not have a preferred supplier of permanent tamperproof decals. It is the responsibility of each operator to source the required decals.

Changes to licensing conditions and vehicle specification requirements following the Regulatory and Appeals Committee Meeting on 1 August 2013

In total there are 13 key changes. Each change is summarised and headed below which includes a brief explanation and the date it comes into effect.

Introduction

These conditions are being introduced following a twelve month review of conditions and procedures introduced in June 2012.

Consideration has been given to ensuring that changes are implemented as smoothly and efficiently as possible whilst ensuring the safety of all concerned

There is much background administration to do and all changes will continue to be issued via Operators, New Condition Updates and the monthly Newsletters.

If you wish to keep abreast of these changes, or would like to access Newsletters etc. directly, please follow this and add it to your 'Favourites' www.bradford.gov.uk/taxiandprivatehire

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has contributed to these changes and specifically the professionalism, constructive challenges and support by Association Representatives of the Bradford Private Hire Liaison Service (Khurram Shehzad, Saj Akbar and Stuart Hastings), Girlington Private Hire (Asif Shah) and Hackney Carriage Owners (Mulazam Hussain, Shabbir Master, Shabir Munir and Tahir Khan) trades. These Associations/individuals played a key role in many of the revisions and their contributions are not only highly valued but highly beneficial to the trades.

We hope that the information provided here is helpful and informative please feel free to contact us with any contributions or ideas by using the links below or through your Representative

Annual vehicle re-test criteria and fees

A new re-test criteria has been agreed along with new fees.

The attached documents give the checklist criteria for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Safety and Vehicle Condition. also attached are the Pass/Fail Categories and associated costs

This has been introduced to reflect the continuing efforts of operators and proprietors in raising the standard of vehicles presented for test.

Average failure rates have reduced from 40% in 2012 to 30% in June 2013.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Deposit on plates

Deposits on vehicle plates are being discontinued and will be reimbursed.

The deposit of £79 charged to a vehicle proprietor when taking out a new licence (plate) is to cease and deposits paid previously will be returned over the next 12 months.

This change came into effect on Monday 5 August 2013.

Door decals

Vehicle door decals can be either stickers or magnetic but must be chosen by the Operator and approved by the service and displayed and all times.

The choice of displaying a sticker or magnetic decal on the whole of their vehicle fleet is that of the Licensed Operators - subject to the decal being approved by the licensing department. Any failure to display a decal will result in the suspension of the vehicle.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

All Operators were required to declare their decision by Friday 13 September 2013.

Driver's licence (badge)

Change in driver minimum age requirement

The minimum age for drivers has been reduced from 21 to 18 years of age, subject to the driver holding a full licence for a minimum period of 1 year in line with legal requirements.

All new drivers are required to pass a DSA Taxi driving test on application. The option of taking and passing an advanced test equivalent to the DSA Taxi driving has also been agreed and this will be investigated in 2014.

This has been introduced to ensure consistency with many other Licensing Authorities and to remove a barrier which prevents young drivers from becoming licensed drivers.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Driving test/assessment

The option to take an advanced driving test the criteria of which will be set and approved by the service, instead of the DSA hackney carriage and private hire driving test has been agreed.

A local (Bradford / Keighley) based driving test option will be produced at a reduced cost option to HCPH DSA Test. This will take circa 6 months to establish so more information will be published later.

Implementation date not anticipated before March 2014.

Driver training

All drivers are required to undertake training/refresher training.

Drivers are required to be refreshed or trained on the topics below on a three yearly cycle. Refresher training will take the form of an initial evaluation to determine the driver’s knowledge/ability on the training modules.

Drivers who prove proficient will not require full refresher training.

Drivers who do not prove proficient will be required to complete refresher training.

  • Licensing conditions and compliance
  • Customer care and personal safety
  • Disability and equality awareness
  • Safety and security of wheelchair passengers

The fee for above will remain at £40.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013

Driving training to be implemented within the next few months

Licensed operator training

Operators are required to complete specific operator training initially and as required in future years.

This will include:

  • driver responsibilities
  • operator legal responsibilities
  • operator licensing responsibilities
  • best practice procedures and Audits

The cost of operator training is still being evaluated but will be no more than £40 and take no longer than four hours.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Licensed operator training to be implemented within the next few months.

Operator responsibility awareness - operator compliance requirement

Operators must have systems and procedures in place which are auditable and include:

  • complaints procedures
  • vehicle daily safety checks
  • driver’s equality awareness and training.

Current Conditions require that the operator takes an active part in the daily running of the premises to ensure that all aspects of the running of the business which meet safety and legal requirements are carried out.

This has been strengthened to include:

'This will be checked by way of base check audits being carried out on a regular basis. The audits must be passed to ensure compliance'

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Find out more about here:

Random vehicle test

The service has discretionary authority to impose a £50 fee for the non-presentation of a vehicle for random test.

Approximately half the vehicles over the age of 6 years will be called in for random test annually.

At the moment approximately 24% of vehicles failed to attend for the test when required and the test failure rate of those that did was 40%

Officers now have the right to impose a £50 'Failure to Attend Fee' against the vehicle owner for non attendance at test and to suspend the vehicle from working (via the driver and operator) until tested.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Vehicle access/egress

Passengers must have clear access/egress.

No vehicle will be licensed if a passenger has to move a seat, climb over a seat or be obstructed in any way from entering or exiting a vehicle in an emergency.

This will not be applied retrospectively; it will only apply to new vehicles or vehicles being adapted.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Vehicle insurance - electronic version in vehicles

Electronic and paper based proof of insurance will now be acceptable.

Modern technology allows motor vehicle insurance to be dealt with online and for documentation to be available online before paper copies are posted out.

Officers will now accept proof of vehicle insurance in electronic format as well as paper form.

Where there is concern relating to proof of insurance the Operator/Proprietor shall be required to present the insurance documentation at Shearbridge Depot within 7 days.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Service
Shearbridge Depot
Shearbridge Road
Bradford
BD7 1PU

Vehicle maximum licensing age - Licensing Age and Maximum Age - First Licence

The age that a vehicle may be licensed and operated has increased.

The vehicle maximum licence age has increased from 8 years to 10 years and a vehicle may be licensed at any age up to its maximum age.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) have changed from a maximum age of vehicle at first licence of 5 years to 10 years and the vehicle maximum age remains the same at 12 years.

This change came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.

Vehicle specification document

A new Standard Vehicle Specification document has been agreed.

The document came into effect on Monday 12 August 2013.