Agenda item

Draft hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy


The Senior Practitioner (Licensing) (SPL) Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) presented the draft hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy for the Committee’s consideration.


The Committee was advised that consultation in respect of the content of the draft policy had been undertaken and Members were required to have regard to the responses that had been received.  The final approved version of the policy was scheduled to come into effect from 1st September 2022 onwards.


The Department for Transport (DfT) had issued new statutory standards and licensing authorities were expected to update their hackney carriage and private hire licensing policies in response to this.  In reviewing the local policy for Redditch, Officers noted that many of the statutory standards were already being met.  However, there were some standards that had not previously been addressed and these had been incorporated into the updated policy.  Amendments to the policy included proposed changes in respect of age criteria for vehicles.  In addition, changes had been proposed in respect of medical checks for drivers.


The consultation exercise in respect of this policy had taken place over a period of 12 weeks, starting in May 2021.  There had been options available for interested parties to respond in writing both online and in paper form.  Officers had also engaged with representatives of relevant organisations, interest groups and local businesses.  The feedback that had been provided during the consultation process had been analysed by Officers.  None of the responses that had been received had persuaded Officers of the need for changes to be made to the policy.


The SPL responded to Members’ questions regarding proposed changes to the age criteria for vehicles and the number of vehicle tests that would be required once a vehicle was 10 years old.  Officers clarified that the current requirements were for drivers to arrange for their vehicle to be subject to two safety checks per year until the vehicle was nine years old and was subject to three safety checks thereafter.  Under the proposed changes, the age limit would be extended to 10 years, whereby two safety checks could be undertaken per year and then three checks would be undertaken thereafter.


Members subsequently debated the proposed policy changes in detail and in doing so commented that it would be helpful for the changes to the age criteria to be approved with immediate effect, rather than to wait until September 2022.  A number of changes were subsequently suggested and agreed to the draft policy:


·             Changes were suggested to Section 3 of the policy, in regard to the shift to electric vehicles, to replace references to 31st December 2025 to instead bring these requirements into place from 1st January 2030.  This proposal was made on the basis that this would bring the arrangements into line with national guidelines, was based on the feedback received through consultation and would provide clarity.

·             The following updates were proposed to the vehicle age criteria:

-      New hackney carriages (replacement vehicles) / private hire vehicles


Be a category D or DX under 6 years

Be a category C or CX under 7 years

Be a category B or BX under 8 years

Be a category A or AX under 8 years


-      The maximum age for hackney carriages / private hire vehicles:


A category D vehicle must be under 10 years of age

A category C vehicle must be under 11 years of age

A category B vehicle must be under 13 years of age

A category A vehicle must be under 15 years of age


·             For wheelchair accessible vehicles, an additional two years to be added to facilitate provision for people with disabilities.




the draft Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy be approved, to take effect on 1st September 2022 with the exception of changes in respect of vehicle age criteria, which should be implemented with immediate effect.



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