Wheelchair accessible vehicles

Specification and policy implementation

This page sets out the specification of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) to be licensed by Cheltenham Borough Council and guidance on how the policy will be implemented. It is aimed at assisting hackney carriage proprietors with the implementation of the WAV policy.

Implementation Date

The council’s cabinet has resolved the WAV policy for licensed hackney carriages to be December 2021. As such, all hackney carriages licensed by Cheltenham Borough Council must comply with the WAV specification by this date.

WAV specification

The substantive hackney carriage/private hire licensing policy has been updated with the new WAV specification. Please refer to Appendix C - Specification for Replacement Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. We have made available the specification as a separate document on the website for easy reference.

We have also produced guidance note on the specification to provide hackney carriage proprietors with additional information on the specification. 

Makes and models

We are aware that the trade has requested a list of acceptable WAV makes and models. As was outlined in the “WAV” Policy – Consultation on Implementation and Mitigation consultation document:

“The council has taken the view that consideration should reflect whole vehicle types, rather than specific models at this stage. Once a final set of specifications has been adopted, the council will proceed with an approved list.”

Accordingly, we have begun to populate such a list. Download the current WAV list.

Transitional arrangements

Existing hackney carriage WAVs (i.e. before December 2018) manufactured between 2005 to 2012 will continued to be licensed for 14 years respectively.

Existing hackney carriage vehicles manufactured from 2013 onwards will continue to be licensed in accordance with the time periods below:

  1. Purpose built WAVs: 14 years (from date of manufacture)
  2. Vehicles converted or adapted to carry wheelchairs: 10 years (from date of manufacture)

A “purpose built” WAV is a vehicle that has come off a production line as a taxi capable of accommodating at least one reference wheelchair.  Conversely, vehicles that are not purpose built are those that have either been converted or adapted to carry wheelchairs.

Further information

Any hackney carriage vehicle proprietor who requires additional information can contact the licensing section by sending an email to licensing@cheltenham.gov.uk.