Latest news and updates

Information relevant to both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Services

May 2017

May 6th Updates

Survey of night time economy staff in relation to young people at risk of CSE.

NatCen Social Research, an independent research organisation (www.natcen.ac.uk), is carrying out a research project for the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse. The aim of the research is to explore the views, awareness, and practices of staff in relation to vulnerable young people at risk of child sexual exploitation.

We are aiming to reach individuals from a range of industries that work during the night (from 6pm onwards), such as hotels, petrol stations, transport, fast food outlets, and leisure centres, etc. If you work after 6pm, then we hope you will consider taking part. The online questionnaire includes basic general questions such as age and gender, followed by a short number of questions about information or training you may have received, and any experiences you may have had (for example, whether you have ever seen anything you think may have been suspicious). Any responses will be completely anonymous. 

If you are interested in taking part please click on the link below which will provide detailed information about the research, followed by the questionnaire itself. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a member of the research team: Nighteconomy@natcen.ac.uk or 0808 168 0747. 

The survey can be reached on https://survey.natcen.ac.uk/nighttimeeconomy 

The short survey will make an important contribution to identifying ways of more effectively tackling child sexual exploitation. Please note that we are interested in hearing back from you regardless of whether you have or have not had training or information in this area.

Taking part in the research is completely voluntary and you can skip any question you would prefer not to answer. And as mentioned, the questionnaire is completely anonymous. This means we do not know the names of the people who take part or ask you for any information that could potentially identify you. Your anonymous responses will be stored safely and will only be accessible to the research team. The feedback you and others provide will be used to write a report for the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse.

The Survey will be open until the 31st May 2017.

'Bradford City Cycle Event'

Hello all Operators, Proprietors and Representatives,

The Council’s ‘Bradford City Cycle’ mass participation cycle event, will be held on Sunday 14th May and will again be taking in a lot of the streets in Bradford City Centre.

The event replaces the former Sky Ride event and will take almost the same route as last year with the exception of Hall Ings and Drake Street.

The event will start at 11am and finish at 3pm but the road closures will be in place from 6am in preparation for the event support infrastructure to be set up. Roads will open as soon as it is practicable to do so after the event when infrastructure has been recovered.

Recent disability legal change - Section 165 and 167 of the Equality Act 2010 

Section 165 and 167 of the Equality Act 2010 have now been enacted and from 6th April 2017 wheelchair overpricing legislation came into effect. Drivers who refuse to pick up or overcharge disabled customers can be fined up to £1000.  Could you make sure that this information is also passed on to all your drivers please.

Where necessary we take appropriate enforcement action as required and have previously suspended drivers for both refusing to transport an assistance dog and more recently a driver who refused to take a wheelchair customer.

Please ensure you remain compliant with legislation and conditions.

May 2nd Updates

Bank Holiday Closure - Monday 29th May

The service will be closed for the Bank Holiday, 29th May and will reopen at 9.30am on the Tuesday morning, the 30th May. Please ensure that if your licence is due to expire on the 29th May you book in and renew ahead of the closure date.

Cancelled Hackney Carriage meeting

Hackney Carriage Representatives - Please be aware of the below.

Due to the Government calling a Snap General Election it means that the service will have to postpone the HC representative Meeting that was to be held on 24th May.

We apologise for the unforeseen circumstances have led to this postponement and hope this has not caused too much inconvenience for anyone.

Cancelled Operator Business meeting

Operators - Please be aware of the below.

Due to the Government calling a Snap General Election it means that the service will have to postpone the Operator Business Meeting that was to be held on 17th May.

We apologise for the unforeseen circumstances have led to this postponement and hope this has not caused too much inconvenience for anyone.

Heathrow 'Authorised Vehicle Area' for private hire vehicles

Heathrow has opened an Authorised Vehicle Area to help reduce the number of private hire vehicles parking in local resident roads around the airport.

A dedicated facility for private hire vehicles and licensed taxis to wait for passengers prior to picking up from a short stay car park and meeting at an agreed location within the terminal.

Awareness is high amongst London based private hire companies but nationwide we still need to spread the word.

Further information can be found at http://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/taxis-and-minicabs/authorised-vehicle-area

Help us to encourage more private hire vehicles to use the Authorised Vehicle Area.’

April 2017

22nd April

New Applications

After a temporary period where we postponed the new application process we are pleased to inform you that we are now re-booking all previously cancelled appointments. We will then process applications in priority order and applicants can expect a waiting time for their appointments of around 6 to 8 weeks.

'Tour De Yorkshire' - Sunday 30th April 2017 - Information including road closures

Please visit the website available on the link below which details information regarding next Sunday’s Tour de Yorkshire.

https://www.bradford.gov.uk/sport-and-activities/tour-de-yorkshire/tour-de-yorkshire-2017-stage-3/

Important News Re Old paper £5 Notes

The old style paper notes will be withdrawn from circulation on 5th May 2017 and Bradford Council will no longer accept them after this date.

Service Closure - Bank Holiday Monday 1st May

The service will be closed on Monday 1st May for the bank holiday. We re-open on Tuesday 2nd May at 9.30am

7th April

New applications:

The service is still not taking new applications as we notified you of in February. We are hoping to restart taking new applications in the coming weeks though and there will be more information on this subject later in April.

Easter Closure Period:

The service will be closed on Friday 14th and Monday 17th April for the Easter Bank Holiday period. Please ensure you contact the service by emailing taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk in order for staff to make you an appointment. 

25 February 2017

All licensed trade members

Unexpected technical issues surrounding the IT bookings system and transferring from the old to the new IT licensing system coupled with unprecedented levels of demand has resulted in us having to manage the service differently in the short term. 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience but the Service is working hard to focus on priorities during this difficult period. The service is also arranging additional working hours and there will be more information communicated about this in the coming days.  

New Applications:

As part of ensuring that, where possible, we deal effectively with the licensed trades we will no longer be taking any new licence applications (i.e. non licensed personnel wishing to become licensed).  This will be a temporary measure until the more urgent priorities have been addressed. Further information will follow in the coming weeks.

Please note the following:

Contacting the service:

The phone lines are incredibly busy. Phone waiting times are long and you may not get through at all.

Therefore we request that you do the following:

Email taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk and state your badge / plate or operator licence numbers. Also provide us with your date of birth and a contact telephone number. Please also tell us what you require, i.e. do you want to renew a badge, a DBS check, a vehicle booking. 

Officers will evaluate the information that you have provided and will ring you back to finalise your request.

Visitors who turn up to site:

We will aim to see all pre-booked badge appointments but as we are encouraging pre booked appointments other visitors who arrive on site will be screened to see what they are here for and how officers may assist. Please email taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk to arrange your badge appointments.

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Urgent - Q Management System Fault

Dear Operators/Proprietors,

Our existing Q management system (where customers take a ticket and are called forward in turn) has developed technical issues and has been reported to the company supplier for immediate investigation.

Officers are managing customer queues by issuing tickets and screening customers who arrive to see how we can assist without them waiting too long.

Apologies for the issue and we hope to have the ticket machine up and running as soon as possible.

January 2017

Thursday 27 January

Service closed today unless you are pre-booked or expiring today.

As explained yesterday we have the same problem today of too many drivers turning up for non-urgent matters and this has again caused substantial queues of between one to two hours at the counter.

Please be aware that as yesterday we are now only seeing the people who already queuing and the pre booked appointments for this afternoon. If anyone arrives on site from now without a pre booked appointment or if they are not expiring today we will be unable to see them.

Again, apologies from the service for the minor disruptions.

Please ask your drivers to wait until next week for non-urgent matters or book appointments before they come on site. We hope to resume a normal service as soon as possible.

Friday 13th January 2017

DBS UPDATE SERVICE – IMPORTANT

Dear Operators / HC Proprietors,

In accordance with Licencing Conditions approved in November 2015 and as reminded in the August and October 2016 newsletters, which are on the website, all drivers are required to sign up to the DBS update service.

From Tuesday 24 January 2017 all drivers will be required to evidence that they are compliant with this condition or complete the sign up during their DBS appointment. 

You are required to inform all your drivers of this.

To complete the sign up during their DBS appointment, each driver MUST have their personal and working email address with them as well as their credit / debit card. 

Licences may not be granted/renewed until the driver has signed up to the update service. 

To assist drivers please see the below 3 steps which show you how to access the internet and then what to type in order to find information on how to set up an email account. 

Step 1: Open the internet and go to a search engine such as Google

Step 2: Type ‘how to set up an email account’ in the search engine

Step 3: Follow one of the suggested email account links and follow their step by step guides.

December 2016

Service Closure Period – January 2017

The Service will be closed for the dates Monday, 16 January 2017 to Monday, 23 January 2017 inclusive.

Note: remember we do not open until 9.30am on a Tuesday.

The January closure will allow the service and its partners to carry out the transition from our current IT system to our new IT system.

We are notifying you well in advance as we wish to work with you and give you opportunity to organise your diaries and book in to renew your licences prior to the closure period.

Please contact the service as soon as possible if your licence is expiring during the closure period. Contact us by emailing taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk

For the Attention of all Hackney Carriage Proprietors and Drivers.

The licensing service has been made aware of a practice that Hackney Carriage Drivers are currently using to avoid traffic on Broadway towards Bridge Street directly outside of Britannia House.

Drivers are using the cycle lane to avoid traffic so that they can go across to the rank on Norfolk Gardens or turn right onto Bridge street.

This cycle lane is designed for cyclists to ride in the opposing direction to traffic and therefore any cyclist using this lane would potentially meet any vehicle in this lane head on.

This is a dangerous practice that must stop immediately.

I have requested that CCTV monitor this area and any offending vehicle details be passed to the enforcement team for disciplinary action.

Please note - Any driver caught using this lane may face immediate suspension or revocation of licence under section 61 (2B) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976  as this manor of driving places members of the public in direct danger.

I ask that all of the Hackney Carriage Association representatives and proprietors pass on this information to drivers immediately.

6 offences have been identified this morning and the drivers involved will be interviewed regarding this.

Right to work

Operators / Proprietors – please pass the below information on to your drivers.

In line with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016 which became Law from 1 December 2016 the Licensing Service must now check on all new and renewal applications that a driver or an operator is permitted to work in the UK.

From 1 December 2016 all drivers and operators when you make your next licence renewal application, you must present one of the following acceptable documents from the list below;

Acceptable Documents

  1. A passport showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
  2. A passport or national identity card showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  3. A Registration Certificate or Document Certifying Permanent Residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
  4. A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office, to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
  5. A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  6. A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK
  7. A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  8. A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  9. A birth or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  10. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent


1 Note re citizens from Croatia:

Croatia: Citizens of Croatia are permitted to work as members of the EEA but require advance authorisation from the UK Border Agency. You must have SIGHT OF and copy the individual’s accession worker authorisation or certificate in advance of him/her commencing employment, unless they are exempt.

Once we have made the appropriate ‘right to a licence check’ we will not need to make another relevant ‘right to a licence’ check – unless there are specific restrictions on an individual’s right to work in the UK (e.g. a limit on the time that an individual may work and remain in the UK).

Please Note: We will not be able to process either a new or a renewal of a licence unless you have complied with the above requirements.

In order to renew your licence you will need an appointment contact the Service by email taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk  to ask for an appointment.

Further details regarding your right to work can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/

November 2016

Proposed Conditions Changes Consultation - November 2016

The service is consulting on a series of 6 proposed areas for changes. The areas are under 6 headings and there are 8 proposals in total. We invite all Bradford Licensed Operators, Drivers and Licensed Proprietors to undertake the survey.

Please read the following document prior to undertaking the survey as you will be unable to answer the questions unless you have read the information.

Consultation proposed conditions November 2016

Please Note: This survey is for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Operators, Proprietors and Drivers licensed by Bradford Council only.  Each licensed person is eligible to take part once, please have your badge, operator or vehicle licence number ready to enter on the survey.

You can complete the survey by accessing on the following link:

https://surveys.bradford.gov.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=147937872028

The survey is now open and will close on Friday 16th December 2016

Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV)

Have you considered the benefits of a low emission vehicle?

A new Low Emissions Strategy will soon to be adopted in Bradford that will seek to improve pollution from all sectors; from private motorists to buses, HGVs and taxis.

Please read the article found under the following link for more details and for the chance to comment.

ULEV Taxi Promo NOV 16

National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud.

Introduction

The Cabinet Office conducts data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. This is one of the ways in which the Minister for the Cabinet Office takes responsibility within government for public sector efficiency and reform. The Minister for the Cabinet Office is also the Chair of the Fraud, Error and Debt Taskforce, the strategic decision-making body for all fraud and error, debt and grant efficiency initiatives across government.

Data matching involves comparing sets of data, such as the payroll or benefits records of a body, against other records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. The data is usually personal information. The data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency that requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

Application forms (eg for benefits, housing tenancies, employment, market traders and taxi drivers)

This authority/organisation is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you have provided on this form for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.

October 2016

Driver Modular Training - To be completed by 31st December 2016

Dear Licensed Operator / Licensed Proprietor,

FINAL REMINDER FOR DRIVERS TO ATTEND DRIVER MODULAR TRAINING BEFORE 31ST DECEMBER 2016

Firstly, many thanks to those of you who have ensured that your drivers have attended the above training or have booked (and paid) for their training attendance before 31st December.

Attendance at modular training is a mandatory licensing Condition which has been in force since August 2013.  It has been publicised on many occasions along with reminders that all drivers must have successfully completed their training before 31st December 2016.  As such all drivers have had  3 years in which to book and attend training.

Records show that there are still several hundred private hire and hackney carriage drivers who have not attended training, or booked their training before the deadline.  Final training sessions are available in November and December, primarily on Wednesday mornings at Richard Dunn Sports Centre.  As the Licensed Operator / Licensed HC Proprietor please ensure that:

  • If you are also a driver, you have completed your modular training.
  • Hackney Drivers and Private Hire Drivers who use Wheelchair Vehicles must also have their Specific wheelchair clamping training certificate.  
  • Any driver who works for your company or drives your hackney carriage vehicle is trained and has a certificate of training issued by PTS since Aug 2013 to evidence this.

For any driver who is not trained please ensure that you contact the training department with urgency to book them onto a session before 31st December 2016, the telephone number is 01274 437967.  There will be no extension to this deadline date.

May I recommend that you either give a copy of this email to all of your drivers or display it prominently in a place which they can see.

Please Note:  

  1. Formal action will be taken against any driver who have not completed their training by 31st December 2016.
  2. Formal action will be taken against any licensed operator or hackney carriage vehicle proprietor who allows a non trained driver to drive for them after 31st December 2016.  
  3. Drivers re-licensing after 31st December 2016 will be required to produce a certificate of modular training attendance between 2013 and 2016.

Many thanks for your cooperation on this important matter.

Operator Business Meeting

The next meeting is on 26th October at 10.30am at City Hall. registration for the event is at 10am.

September 2016

Enforcement Update - Out of area vehicles

As you are fully aware from previous meetings and information circulated, elected members introduced a new licensing condition on 17th February 2016 regarding the use of out of district drivers/vehicles. The condition was introduced to ensure that when a Bradford customer made a booking they could be assured that the vehicle and driver being provided met the standards required for licensing within BMDC.

A six month lead in period was provided to ensure that all Operators had plenty of time to introduce the changes required and the Condition came into force on 17th August 2016. The key requirements of the condition are:

  • Any operator using out of district drivers need to have a separate booking line.
  • The booking line needs to have a pre-recorded message informing customer that they are being offered a vehicle/driver which is not licensed by Bradford.
  • Separate booking records need to be kept for bookings involving non Bradford licensed drivers/vehicles.

A further two conditions are already in place from January 2015

  • A letter from the drivers insurance stating they are aware that the driver is working in Bradford
  • The driver and Operator are in possession of a vehicle safety check certificate from a vehicle main dealer.

Since 17 August, licensing enforcement officers have been conducting compliance checks against the above and have so far identified 7 operators who are non-compliant. This has resulted in the issuing of seven 21 day suspension notices, i.e. notices which notify the Operator that his licence to operate will be removed in 21 days.

Plying for hire

A recent court case against a licensed private hire driver regarding plying for hire has resulted in the driver paying fines of in excess of £1300 and being penalised with 8 points. Please refer to point 2.16 in the licensing conditions booklet for information on plying for hire and remember that it is an offence to do so.

August 2016

Licensing updates

DBS Update Service – the condition for electronic DBS submission and for all drivers to use the update service is a condition that was passed at Regulatory & Appeals Committee, November 2015. The Council were testing the use of electronic forms but at this time we will not be implementing the electronic form requirement. We will however be implementing the DBS update service condition.

From 1st October 2016 every person who completes a DBS form at Shearbridge must at the same appointment sign up to the update service and you will need an email account to do this. Please see the below 3 steps which show you how to access the internet and then what to type in order to find information on how to set up an email account.

Step 1: Open the internet and go to a search engine such as Google
Step 2: Type ‘how to set up an email account’ in the search engine
Step 3: Follow one of the suggested email account links and follow their step by step guides.

Operators - Please email taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk by 16th September if you would like officers to arrange to visit your base and show you the DBS Update service.

July 2016

Final Notice: Driver Modular Training

Further to the services emails to you dated 11th April and 12th May 2016, please be reminded that all hackney carriage and private hire licensed drivers must complete their modular training before August 31st 2016. Our records show that c1000 drivers are yet to complete training since 1st August 2016. As their Operator it is vitally important that you hold a copy of each of your driver’s modular training certificate, if you do not hold a copy of their training certificate then you cannot use the driver after August 31st 2016. Please be advised that if you use a driver who has not attended training after this date then you will be subject to formal action.

Due to anomalies when transferring data between two IT systems, we are unable to provide you with a breakdown of drivers who have attended training and are employed by you at this time. The actions you need to take are:

  1. For drivers who have not attended training since 1st August 2013 please contact the FTS Training Dept. on 01274 437967 to book their training before August 31st 2016.
  2. For drivers who claim to have attended training since 1st August 2013 but cannot provide you with a certificate of attendance, or claim to have lost their certificate, please ask them to call in to PTS Reception at Shearbridge and speak to the training team who will check the training records.

May 2016

Driver Modular Training

Dear Operator and Proprietor,

As you are aware there is the need for all your drivers to have completed driver training before 1st September 2016. Please ensure you speak to your drivers and book them on to driver training.

Drivers - this is the message from the HC and PH Licensing Service:

On behalf of the licensing service I would bring to your attention that it is a condition of your licence that you complete refresher driver training within a three year period.

Failure, refusing to attend training or not completing training by the deadline will mean that you may be suspended from work with immediate affect and will not be able to work again until the training has been completed

March 2016

Rossendale - Intended Use Policy

Rossendale Council have introduced their intended use policy. This means that applicants to Rossendale have to state in which district they intend to use their vehicle. Applicants who state they are not using their vehicles within the Rossendale district boundaries are likely to have their applications refused. Applicants who state they are working in Rossendale but who are then found to be working predominantly outside Rossendale are likely to have their licences removed.

February 2016

Conditions Proposals

The latest series of conditions proposals that have been discussed with Operators and the HCPH trade representatives went to committee in February. The new conditions were passed on 17th February at committee. These will appear shortly in the February related links page.

HCPH representative meeting

The latest representative meeting with Cllr Slater was held on 4th February

Decals

A reminder to all Operators that you must ensure that your chosen decals are authorised by officers at Shearbridge. Your vehicles should be displaying the approved version and it should be a permanent door decal.

January 2016

Operator Business Meeting

Operators have been invited by email to the Operator Business Seminar at the end of January, 27th. Replies to the service are required on taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk

December 2015

Agenda Points Form

Please fill in the agenda points form to submit any agenda points that you wish to bring forward at future meetings. These points will be required to help provide clarity and allow officers time to provide appropriate replies. The form is attached below under the December Links. Once you have completed the form please email it to taxi.testing@bradford.gov.uk

November 2015

CSE Seminars Update

The service would like to thank all PH Operators and HC Vehicle Proprietors who attended the recent CSE seminars at City Hall. There was an excellent turn out and the feedback from the trade was positive.

Conditions Changes

Please look at the attached document below, under the November 2015 link to see details of conditions changes

October 2015

CSE Seminars

The service has written to the PH Operator Licence holders and HC Vehicle Proprietor Holders regarding mandatory CSE seminars to be held at City hall in October.

Replies are required and attendance is mandatory for all PH Operators and HC Proprietors

If you are an Operator or HC Proprietor please contact the service immediately on this matter if you have not received your letter, lost your letter or need to discuss the date of your seminar.

August 2015

Depot Access - Barriers

There will be a change in access to the depot from Tuesday 8 September.

Vehicle/Pedestrian access will be only possible via stopping at the new barriers at the Shearbridge Road entrance from end of August. Visitors will have to press the intercom and explain why they are visiting the site. For visitors in vehicles, if there is space in Visitors parking they will be allowed access, if not they will be asked to park outside the depot and enter via pedestrian access point.

July 2015

Child Sex Exploitation (CSE)

In June we wrote to all licensed individuals on behalf of our police colleagues about the issues currently surrounding CSE.

Please make sure you remain familiar with this information as it is essential that you understand how to report your suspicions.

Don’t forget – you are required to keep a copy of the CSE leaflet in each vehicle.

Operators – you must ensure that all drivers have received the CSE information and you have a signature to evidence this. The evidence should be retained with your base records. Copies are available in the links below for you should require any extra information for your drivers.

Extra Counter Appointments

From week commencing Monday 7 September we are able to offer in excess of 30 pre-bookable appointments, each working day, Monday to Friday. The addition of these appointments will be beneficial as this will allow more visitors to come at pre booked times, hence reducing queues and waiting times.

November 2016

December 2015

November 2015

August 2015

July 2015

Underline

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