Mansfield District Council has approved significant changes to its Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy, directly impacting the local taxi industry.
The amendments, recommended by the Licensing Manager will be discussed in a report to the Licensing Committee next week.
The changes come in response to the evolving nature of modern vehicles and the feedback from the taxi trade and council’s Fleet Services. The Fleet Services, responsible for taxi vehicle inspections, have identified ongoing issues due to the specifications of modern vehicles.
Key Policy Amendments
– Spare Tyre Requirement Altered: Modern vehicles often come without a full spare wheel, instead equipped with a smart tyre repair kit. The current policy has been limiting vehicle choices for taxi drivers due to this. The revised policy will now accept a smart repair kit or run-flat tyre as alternatives to a full spare wheel. But passengers will not be carried in vehicles with a run-flat tyre or a temporary tyre repair until a full specification wheel is refitted.
– Tow Bars and Trailers for Luggage: A significant and much-discussed change is the approval of tow bars and trailers. This amendment will allow taxis to carry more luggage, addressing issues especially prevalent in airport runs where luggage often exceeds boot capacity. The policy change aligns with specifications from other Licensing Authorities and responds to the trade’s request for better luggage handling solutions.
Implementation of the policy changes will permit vehicle to be equipped with a tow bar which will enable the use of trailers. This will allows vehicles to effectively carry luggage when boot size is limited.
– Reduction in Brake Horse Power Requirement: The minimum brake horse power requirement for vehicles has been reduced from 90 to 80. This change is in line with the performance of modern vehicles and will offer a broader range of vehicle choices to drivers.
The Impact of Changes
These amendments are designed to offer greater flexibility and choice to taxi drivers, improving their ability to meet customer needs without compromising public safety. The changes reflect the modernisation of vehicles and ensure that the taxi fleet remains up-to-date with the latest vehicle technology.
No Public Consultation, But Industry Feedback Considered
There was no public consultation on these amendments, as they were not deemed to have a significant impact on passengers or the trade. However, the changes were based on feedback from the taxi trade and the council’s Fleet Services.
Alignment with Council Priorities and Legal Compliance
The amendments align with the council’s priorities, they say, including supporting local businesses and ensuring the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable persons using taxi services. They are also in compliance with legal standards and the Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards issued in 2020.