Common standards for taxi and private hire licensing around Gloucestershire

Published on 13th April 2021

Row of Hackney taxis along the Promenade taxi rank

A joint consultation between licensing authorities across Gloucestershire has been launched to decide on common licensing standards for taxi and private hire services.

Currently there are six different taxi and private hire licensing policies with each licensing authority setting its own local standards.

Having one ‘common standard’ would mean the same high licensing standards would apply anywhere in the county - based on national guidance and best practice to promote public safety, protection - and would reduce unnecessary admin for businesses operating across district boundaries.

The proposed common licensing standards have been developed with support from South Gloucestershire Council. The licensing authorities across Gloucestershire would like to express thanks for their commitment to the project.

Robert Weaver, Chief Executive for Cotswold District Council, said:

“Through our licensing team we are responsible for working with taxi and private hire drivers and companies to make sure we hit the high safety standard we all expect. This joint approach across Gloucestershire will make sure we are all working to national best practice and that safety is of the highest importance. I would encourage everyone across the Cotswold to look at the consultation and give their views, whether they be residents, licence holders or businesses.”

Mike Redman, director for environment at Cheltenham Borough Council, said:

“Public safety and protection is the cornerstone of licensing. 

“Through this consultation, the licensing authorities around the county have shown a commitment to partnership working to produce common standards based on national best practice.  Having common standards means that residents and visitors to Cheltenham and elsewhere in the county can be assured the highest possible public safety standards are applied to taxi and private hire licensing for the safety and protection.

“I would like to encourage licence holders, residents and businesses to take the opportunity to respond to this consultation.”

Peter Williams, Head of Paid Service for Forest of Dean District Council, said:

“Working in partnership across Gloucestershire we have been able to produce a set of standards for taxi licenses that will make sure the public remain safe when using local taxis and private hire vehicles. I would encourage everyone, residents, businesses and licence holders, who use or operate taxis or private hire vehicles in the District to have a look and comment on our proposals so that we can ensure we get them right.”

Ruth Saunders, Head of Communities, Gloucester City Council, said:

“Public safety is paramount when Licensing Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers. Gloucester welcomes the joined up approach across Gloucestershire on the production of the draft common standards. The document sets out the highest standards and by working in partnership with the other Licensing Teams across Gloucestershire will ensure a consistent approach is applied.

“I would encourage licence holders, residents and businesses across Gloucester City to view the draft common standards document during the consultation and make any comments.”

Brendan Cleere, Strategic Director of Place at Stroud District Council’s said:

“Taxi and private hire businesses are an important part of public transport for our communities.  Stroud District Council welcomes working together with the other Gloucestershire licensing authorities to align standards for drivers and operators to ensure a consistent high standard and increase awareness so that everyone can be confident about safety when using taxi and private hire services. The draft Common Standards for Gloucestershire for consultation propose a range of robust measures to increase protection for both drivers and taxi and private hire passengers, particularly those most vulnerable.”

Peter Tonge, Head of Community Services at Tewkesbury Borough Council said:

“This joint approach to regularising our taxi and private hire drivers and operators is a step forward to safeguarding the public and is of high importance.  We are always keen to support our local businesses and recommend everyone to consider this proposed policy consultation.   We are committed across Gloucestershire to keeping our residents and businesses safe.”

Councils involved in the consultation include: Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucester City Council, Stroud District Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council.

Consultation opens today (13 April 2021) and will be open for 12 weeks to 6 June 2021. For more information, including on how to respond, please visit https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/info/21/consultations/944/licensing_consultations.


For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264332, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk

Notes:
In July (2020), the Department for Transport (DfT) published its Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards with a strong focus to protect all passengers and users of taxis and private hire transport services. 
Department for Transport (DfT) Statutory guidance: Taxi and private hire vehicle standards