Agenda item

Taxi Licensing Policy

The purpose of this report is to enable the Committee to consider comments following the consultation on the review of Waverley Borough Council’s Taxi and Private Hire Licensing policy with a view to amendment,  if appropriate. It is intended that the Policy will provide clarity for licensed vehicle owners, drivers, operators and the public as to how Waverley will undertake its licensing functions. The policy will also seek to assist the Licensing Authority in making decisions.


It is recommended that the Licensing and Regulatory Committee considers the outcome of the feedback from the consultation of the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and agrees it, with or without amendments.




Paul Hughes, Licensing & Environmental Enforcement Manager, Outlined the comments received following the consultation on the review of the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy. He highlighted the changes that had been made to the policy and asked for comment.


The Committee discussed at length the maximum age for vehicles when first licenced  and the maximum age a vehicle should  continue to be licensed to.  Under the existing policy there was no age limit (following it being amended some years ago when there was an age limit of 4 years and 10 years respectively). The draft policy proposed it should once again have an age restriction of 3 years and 7 years.  The Committee felt that due to the current economic climate with COVID that a decision to implement this should be put back a year. Cllr Keen proposed this and Cllr Goodridge seconded.  This was AGREED by majority with Cllrs Hyman and D’Arcy voting against.


It was then suggested that the proposal should be under 4 years of age for 1st registration and could be licensed to a maximum of 10 years old. Cllr D’Arcy proposed and Cllr Ruth Reed Seconded and this was AGREED by a majority with Cllr Hyman abstaining.


It was agreed that all the proposed dates re implementation of  age restrictions and ULEV be pushed back one year (to 01 April 2022) except for the implementation of the no written off vehicles to be licensed which would remain as 01 April 2021.


Policy amended to;


Insurance write Offs


From 01 April 2021 Waverley will not accept any new applications for vehicles that have been written off by an insurance company.


Age of the vehicle


From 01 April 2022 a vehicle submitted, for a new vehicle licence must be under 4 years old from date of first registration. Once licensed a vehicle may continue to be licensed up to the 10th anniversary of first registration.  Once any vehicle reaches 5 years of age, it becomes subject to 6-monthly tests.


Existing licensed vehicles that are over 10 years old, or that will become over 10 years old can continue to be licensed until the 31 December 2023. From 01 Jan 2024 a vehicle will not be licensed if it is 10 years old or more from date of first registration.


From 01 January 2024 a vehicle submitted, for a new application, to licence must be an Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV), as defined by the Vehicle Certification Agency.


From 01 January 2031 Waverley will only accept new applications and renewals for vehicles which are ULEV.


The Committee were shown the proposed door signage for Private Hire Vehicles and felt the rectangular sign was preferable to the oval one.  They discussed whether Hackney Carriages should also display these but it was felt this was not necessary.

Cllr Hyman advised he had identified a number of spelling and grammatical errors in the policy and would speak to officer’s offline to rectify.


It was also highlighted that due to the delay in implementation the policy should be amended to read 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2026.


There was concern raised regarding the word ‘matching’ (in paragraph 20, page 24/ para 9 page 42/ para 11 page 47 of the policy) as it was felt this could be ambiguous and ‘same size’ should be put in.


It was also queried if the clarification on tinted windows had been rectified as previously some ‘manufacturer’ tints were darker than Waverley’s permitted levels and the drivers had no way of measuring it.  Paul Hughes advised that Waverley’s had reduced the levels in the rear windows from 70% of light transmission being able to pass through them to 22% and that the front windows are in accordance with the  Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986.


Action: The Committee considered the outcome of the feedback from the consultation of the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and AGREED it, subject to the amendments discussed.



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