Taxi & Private Hire Trade Information

Taxi Trade Liaison Group

The Councils' Licensing Unit regularly holds meetings with both the Adur and Worthing hackney carriage and private hire trades.

Discussions at these meetings can range from changes in legislation to local communication between the Councils, trade and public. Recent discussions have included congestion, air pollution, wheelchair accessible vehicles, a disabled users charter and unlicensed activity.

All licensed drivers, proprietors and operators are invited. Guests at meetings may include local councillors, trade union representatives, the Highways Agency and other organisations.

Trade meetings:

2021

  • Adur & Worthing Covid Support Advice Meeting: On Thursday 21st January 2021 at 2pm an online zoom meeting has been arranged for members of the Adur and Worthing Taxi and Private Hire trades to have the opportunity to receive support and advice on the various financial grants, community and wellbeing schemes available. All Adur & Worthing trade members are welcome and to attend please use the following link:

    https://adur-worthing.zoom.us/j/92535767475?pwd=YUZjUEJOUkx2UGxNUEJwT2xZUjRzUT09 

    Officers from A&W Business Support Team and A&W Wellbeing Team will be present to provide information and advice. Invitations will be sent out in due course.

  • Adur & Worthing Taxi Operational Group Meeting: Information regarding the next scheduled meeting will be published in due course. 
  • Worthing Trade Forum Meeting: Scheduled for Monday 24th May 2021. The meeting will be held online due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Invitations will be sent out in due course.
  • Adur Trade Forum Meeting: Scheduled for Tuesday 25th May 2021. The meeting will be held online due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Invitations will be sent out in due course.

Transport for the South East: Transport Strategy 

Transport for the South East is the sub-national transport body for the South East of England. It's purpose is to determine what investment is needed to transform our region’s transport system and drive economic growth. Transport for the South East was established in 2017 to determine what transport infrastructure is needed to boost the region’s economy.

The partnership is made up of 16 local authorities, five local enterprise partnerships plus representatives of district & borough authorities, protected landscapes and national delivery agencies.

Their transport strategy for a more connected, productive and sustainable South East can be found at: 

Department for Transport: Taxi & Private Hire Statistics for 2020

The Department for Transport has now released the official Taxi and PHV statistics for 2020 that give some interesting insights into the hackney carriage and private hire industry. Headline statistics on taxi and private hire vehicles (PHV) in England show at end March 2020:

  • There were 298,800 licensed taxis and PHVs
  • 77% of all licensed vehicles were PHVs
  • 57% of licensed taxis were wheelchair accessible
  • All taxis in London were wheelchair accessible
  • 364,900 driver licences
  • 64% of licences were PHV only licences
  • 14% were taxi only licences
  • 22% were dual licences

The report can be accessed at: 

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 Covid-19 Protection

Additional Driver & Passenger Protection

We are aware that drivers are taking additional steps to protect themselves and their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic including thorough cleaning regimes for their vehicle interior surfaces, where possible using EPOS machines rather than cash, providing disinfectant wipes after each journey and using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol in their cars.

In addition to the standard precautions that taxi drivers should be taking during the Covid-19 outbreak there are a number of new products that have been launched to help Taxi Drivers further protect themselves and their passengers. Those Drivers that want to continue working in their licensed vehicle may wish to consider installing a shield between the front and rear passenger compartments for added protection.

There are a number of different such products on the market some of which can even be fitted to standard saloon vehicles. We are aware of a number of local suppliers and installers.

If you decide to install protective equipment you are advised that you must:

  • Provide details of the shield and how it will be fixed to the licensing office for approval
  • Notify the licensing office that you have:
    • installed the shield
    • your vehicle details and plate number
    • photographs of the installation
  • The shield can only be placed to separate the front and rear of the vehicle and must not divide the front passenger seat from the driver
  • Check your insurance will not be invalidated due to the vehicle alteration and obtain confirmation of this in writing from your insurance provider
  • Ensure that the shield is securely fitted to avoid passengers getting tangled or tripping
  • Ensure the installation does not interfere with the safety features in the vehicle

You should note that the equipment is fitted at the drivers and proprietors own risk. The details above should be sent to:

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Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licence Fees

As a result of efficiencies and new ways of working the Councils are please to announce that there are no increases proposed for driver or vehicle licences for the new financial year 2020-21 in Adur or Worthing.

Changes to the Local Government (Miscellaneous) Act 1976 by the Deregulation Act 2015 have been introduced with Driver licences now being issued for 3 years and Operator Licences for up to 5 years in line with the regulations.

However, due to the exceptional circumstances being experienced currently with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Councils have decided to put in emergency measures to assist drivers. One of which is that Driver's licences being renewed will still be issued for a 3 year period but the fee charged will be collected on an annual basis so reducing the licence holder's up front cost. This arrangement will continue whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

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Safer Travel at Night - Advice for Drivers

Adur & Worthing Councils are working closely with the police to keep people safe when they are travelling, and to crack down on any illegal taxi and private hire activity that puts passengers at risk.

The trade is well aware of the dangers to the public posed by unlicensed vehicles and un-booked private hire vehicles. Our licensing officers work alongside the police to carry out vehicle and driver licensing checks, visit private hire operators, engage with the public and undertake other activities to detect drivers who are breaking the law.

The councils, when possible, will emphasis to the public the risks of using an un-booked private hire vehicle - including unlicensed bogus cabs and licensed private hire drivers who are touting or illegally plying for hire. Un-booked private hire vehicles are illegal, not insured to carry passengers, and pose a serious risk to their passengers - including serious crimes such as robbery, rape and serious sexual offences. The annual 'Getting Home Safely' campaign provides information on the rules for using taxi and private hire vehicles and encourages the public to use taxis or booked, licensed private hire vehicles.

As a licensed taxi or private hire driver you have a responsibility for ensuring that your passengers are safe when travelling in your vehicle. The way you interact with your customers affects the way that a customer feels about the journey they make with you. We expect the highest standards of conduct from licensed taxi and private hire drivers.

No form of sexual conduct between a licensed driver and a passenger is ever acceptable, even if it is consensual. Avoid any behaviour that could be considered to be of a sexual nature, no matter how well intentioned or harmless you think it is, as it will not be tolerated. This includes commenting on someone's appearance or looking at a passenger in a way that could make them feel uncomfortable.

We take this issue extremely seriously: all complaints and reports to us or the police will be fully investigated and appropriate action will be taken. A driver will lose their licence if they are found to have acted in an inappropriate way towards a passenger.

If you see or hear of any inappropriate driver behaviour, you can report it by:

If you feel a customer may be in immediate danger, call 999.

Badges and driver IDs

Please remember that taxi drivers must wear their badge, and private hire drivers must wear their driver ID, at all times while working. This is a public safety issue as it is an important way for members of the public to identify you as a licensed driver.

The councils will take action against drivers who do not clearly display their badge or driver ID. If you are found to be working without your badge or driver ID, this breach of compliance may be subject to penalties and may lead to licensing action.

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Cross Border Hiring

Currently, PHVs can undertake bookings anywhere in England and Wales, provided:

  • The vehicle, driver and operator are licensed by the same licensing authority
  • The booking is accepted by the operator within this authority, regardless of where the driver and vehicle are physically located

This is commonly referred to as the 'triple licensing requirement' and could cause significant issues with enforcement, congestion, emissions and parking, as well as creating issues in neighbouring licensing authority areas.

A national change is required to address issues of cross border hiring which will otherwise further contribute to enforcement, congestion, pollution and parking issues.

The councils do not have powers to restrict this type of cross border operation and are currently raising these concerns with government to ensure we have appropriate controls.

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Hate Crime report it!

What is a hate crime?

A hate crime is any crime that is targeted at a person because of a hostility or prejudice towards that person because of:

  • Religion or belief
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Trans or gender reassignment, or
  • Alternative sub-culture

Drivers and members of the public should not have to tolerate it. You can report an incident of Hate Crime online on the:

Please always ring 999 in an emergency.

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CCTV

Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council are separate Licensing Authorities publishing their own taxi handbooks. Both Authorities in 2018/19 reviewed their handbooks after extensive public, trade and authority consultation.

As part of these reviews both Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council considered their policies on CCTV provision.

There is now a compulsory requirement for all Adur and Worthing Hackney Carriages & Private Hire vehicles to have CCTV fitted:

  • Worthing vehicles will be required to have CCTV installed by the end of September 2019
  • Adur vehicles by the beginning of January 2020

Both Councils' Licensing Committees having resolved that in the interest of public safety CCTV should be compulsory in all licensed vehicles.

Members were keen that the requirement for CCTV to be installed was rolled out gradually to minimise the financial impact on members of the trade and, consequently, agreed an extended period for the trade to comply. Proprietors should be aware that replacement vehicles and vehicles being licensed for the first time will need to have had CCTV fitted at time of presentation for licensing.

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Page last updated: 11 January 2021