Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Draft Policy - Public Consultation


Cornwall Council Hackney Carriage (Taxi) / Private Hire Vehicle, Operator and Driver Licensing Statement of Practices, Procedures and Policy

Cornwall Council has a role as Licensing Authority. In this role, we are responsible for licensing and regulation of the Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire trade.

A new draft Policy has been prepared. This brings together all the Licensing Authority’s practices and procedures for:

  • Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
  • Private Hire Operators
  • Taxi / Private Hire Drivers

This is one document with various appendices.

The draft Policy takes into account the statutory guidance published by the Government in July 2020. This is available via the following link:

The Council has a legal duty to have regard to the statutory guidance. The Department of Transport have stated they expect their recommendations to be implemented unless there is a compelling reason not to.

The draft Policy document together with the appendices is available via the following link:

Draft Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Vehicle, Operator and Driver Licensing Policy

The proposed amendments will apply to all new applicants and existing licensees on renewal. The amendments include the following:

  • Drivers will be required to subscribe to the DBS Update Service. This is to enable the Council to routinely check for new information every 6 months
  • A DBS basic criminal record check will be required each year for licensed vehicle proprietors and operators. (If operators are not licensed drivers)
  • Operators will be required to have sight of basic DBS for all staff who take bookings and/or dispatch vehicles. Operators should check this is compatible with their own policy on employing ex-offenders. (Operators are required to have such a policy)
  • There are some slight changes to Private Hire Operator record keeping. There is a new requirement to keep copies of motor insurance for each vehicle used as part of the business

For ease of reference, the proposed amendments and additional licence conditions for Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles and Private Hire Operators are shown in shaded text in the appendices to the policy. Please refer to documents VEH1, VEH2 and OP1.

  • A new notice is proposed to be displayed in all licensed vehicles. This is to advise passengers on how to complain. Please refer to document VEH4 within the policy
  • There is an additional clause which is proposed in relation to vehicles which have been written off by an insurance company. Please see section 3.16 of policy

The proposed additional licence conditions for Private Hire Drivers are shown in shaded text at document DR2 within the policy.

  • It is proposed to replace all the Hackney Carriage Driver Byelaws with a Code of Conduct for Taxi Drivers. Please refer to document DR3 within the policy
  • The Council intends to issue dual driver licences for private hire and all taxi zones in Cornwall. This will reduce the burden on drivers who may wish to drive either type of vehicle. It will also reduce the costs to the drivers
  • Drivers will have the option of having medicals carried out by other Doctors rather than their own Doctor. Please see section 5.7 of policy
  • There will be updated, more robust, guidelines for determining suitability of applicants and licensees in relation to convictions, cautions, endorsements etc. This is detailed in document DR1 within the policy
  • The Council will utilise tools such as the National Register of Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driving Licence Refusals and Revocations. (This is known as 'NR3')
  • Safeguarding Awareness training is required by to be completed by drivers. This will initially be by way of a 1-hour video provided by the Council for drivers to watch. Please see section 5.6 of policy
  • There is a new Government requirement relating to tax. This comes into effect from April 2022. Operators and drivers will be required to complete a simple online tax declaration at the time of their renewal. Please see section 4.5 of policy
  • Drivers must be able to speak and understand spoken and written English. New drivers will therefore need to produce a relevant qualification. If they are not able to produce a qualification, there is a Home Office assessment which can be done. Alternatively, Licensing are proposing to offer their own assessment. This is a simpler and cheaper alternative for those who are not able to produce a qualification certificate. Please see section 5.8 of policy
  • It is proposed that the Council support the trade’s initiative of ‘Zero Tolerance - No Excuse for Abuse’. Please see section 5.16 of policy along with appendices ZT1, ZT2 and ZT3

The primary purpose and overriding objective of the new draft policy is the protection of passengers. However, it is equally important to maintain the personal security of:

  • drivers
  • operators
  • vehicle proprietors
  • and their staff

It is important to give out a clear message to the public that violence and aggression towards licensed drivers is not acceptable.

The Licensing Service would welcome your comments on all aspects of the draft policy. Responses will be used to help inform any changes to the policy.

Please email licensing@cornwall.gov.uk with your comments. These should arrive no later than 7 February 2022.

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