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Taxi News Feed

Keep up to date with the latest Licensing news and information.

Compliance Tests

Thank you for your patience over the last few weeks with the issues experienced at the testing centre. These are now resolved and a back-up plan is now in place should any issue occur again. No further tests will be carried out in Knowsley.

Plate Collections

We are trialling some new times and days for collection of plates as the time we currently have allocated to this is under-used. Afternoon collections are currently being tested but if this causes you any difficulties then please let us know. During this test period, no drivers will be left in a position where they are unable to obtain plates to allow them to continue working.

Telephone Enquiries

Over the coming weeks we will also be trialling new systems with telephone enquiries. In the near future we will be introducing the function of web chats, which will create a further way for you to contact us. We are studying the number and type of calls we receive and looking at how these can be managed so, to assist us with this, from Monday 29 July our phone lines will be available for the following times: Monday to Friday 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00.

You can of course email us at any time with questions or requests. We aim to respond to these within 24 hours. During the times when you cannot reach us by telephone, you will receive a recorded message to remind you that you can email us with your request.

Online DBS Service

The DBS operate an online subscription service, which costs £13 per year to keep updated. You must first apply for a DBS certificate with us or just have been issued with one. Once you are enrolled to the online service, you will no longer be required to return periodically to us for DBS checks as at your initial appointment we will ask you to sign a form to give us access to your record to check your information status. This system will work out as a much cheaper option.

The Government are intending to introduce Statutory Guidance for Taxi Licensing over the next few months, which will require licensing authorities to carry out six-monthly DBS checks. We have no set date to introduce this but it will be easier and more beneficial to you financially if you sign up for the online service as soon as possible. 

The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) offer the facility to update your DBS online for a fee of £13 a year. Sign up to the service here.

You will need to have your original certificate to hand and will need to register within 19 days from the date that the certificate was printed.

By signing up to the service, it will allow us to process your renewal application faster as we will not need to wait for your DBS certificate to be posted back to you.

You will need to keep your original DBS certificate and produce this to us every time your DBS check is due. 

You are encouraged to use this facility as it is not only more cost-effective but also a much quicker process for your renewal.

At the meeting of the Licensing and Environmental Protection Committee on 12 December 2018, members agreed to the following amendments to the Taxi Licensing Policy with immediate effect:

Tinted Windows on Licensed Vehicles

Adoption of the DVLA standard for window tint on vehicles, which is: on motor vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1985, the light transmitted through the windscreen must be at least 75%. The front side windows or the 'A-Pillar' for the driver must allow at least 70% of light to be transmitted through them. There are no rules governing the tinting of passenger or rear windows.

The only exceptions to this are the 'manufacturer's standard'. This is when a vehicle comes off the production line with the tint already installed. There are a number of these vehicles now available, particularly of the people carrier type. The tint cannot be modified in any way and the vehicle proprietor has to provide certificated proof that the vehicle was produced in that manner. If this can be achieved, then these vehicles will also licensed.

Operator Door Signage

St.Helens Licensing Authority will now allow the use of magnetic door signage for operators. This is optional as you may retain the adhesive signage but magnetic is now permitted. Licensed drivers may now also remove the door signage from the licensed vehicle if the vehicle is 'not working'. Plates and window signage must remain in place at all times. The door signage must be reinstated before the licensed vehicle and driver undertake any work.

First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguisher

This is now removed as a mandatory condition from vehicle policy.

Following the Licensing & Environmental Protection Committee on 28/11/2018, the following items were approved:

'A Cabbie' Vehicle 

The 'A Cabbie' (a custom-built Ford Tourneo which provides a rear wheelchair accessible ramp) has been approved by the Committee to be used as a Hackney Carriage Vehicle.

North John Street Hackney Carriage Rank

The proposed Hackney Carriage Rank on North John Street has been approved by the Committee for a trial period of 18 months, allowing six vehicles to occupy the rank at any one time. 

More information on the 'A Cabbie' Vehicle and the North John Street Hackney Carriage Rank.

From 1 December 2018 we are no longer be able to use the current method of checking the details on your DVLA driver’s licence. You are therefore required to generate a code allowing us to access the details of your DVLA driver’s licence.

To do this you can visit www.gov.uk/check-driving-information. From here you can generate a ‘code check’ by inputting:

  • Your driving licence number.
  • Your National Insurance number.
  • The postcode of your driving licence.

Other methods of obtaining a check are available and this includes calling 0300 083 0013.

You must generate your own code and this remains valid for 21 days. The fee payable to update our records currently stands at £2 per year.

Update on training availability:

12 June 2019 at 12.45pm

3 July 2019 at 12.45pm

14 August 2019 at 12.45pm

Email taxilicensing@sthelens.gov.uk to book your training or phone 01744 675822.

Mandatory Safeguarding Training for Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers and Private Hire Operators.

Ravenhead Road is classed as a 'BOAT' – see definition below.

Driving on byways

Driving on a byway may be tough going for some vehicles but it is not 'off road'. Anyone driving on a byway must comply with the Road Traffic Act (i.e. display a number plate, have road tax, third party insurance, and a driving licence correct for the type of vehicle). Drivers must obey the rules of the road, giving way to pedestrians and horse riders.

What is a public right of way?

A public right of way is a route which anyone has the right to pass along without hindrance or obstruction. In law, public rights of way are highways which are subject to the same legal protection as any other public highway. Public rights of way are classified according to the type of use which is permitted on them:

  • Public footpath – a way for use only by walkers.
  • Public bridleway – a way for use by walkers, horses and cycles. 
  • Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) – a way which carries vehicular rights but which is used mainly by walkers, horses and cycles.
  • Restricted Byway – a way for use by walkers, horses and cycles, as well as non-mechanically propelled vehicles.

Ravenhead Road is a legal right of way but is owned by Pilkington. It could be assumed that as the road carries vehicular rights then it is the same as driving on the public highway; however, to be absolutely sure it is suggested that any driver who is concerned about this should check with their own insurance provider.

Please see the poster below in regards to criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults.

The poster is from County Lines and is provided by the Home Office.

Operators are encouraged to print the poster and display it in your operating offices.

County Lines, Home Office Poster

If you would like further information on criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults, please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-exploitation-of-children-and-vulnerable-adults-county-lines