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Have your say on taxi policy

Date issued: 10 October 2017

Colchester Borough Council has launched a consultation on the policy that governs taxis and private hire vehicles across the borough.

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, last reviewed in October 2016, sets out how firms should operate. 

It covers issues such as protecting the public, safeguarding children and vulnerable passengers, keeping drivers safe and healthy, behaving professionally, encouraging environmental sustainability, and making sure that vehicles are safe and comfortable. 

The Council has reviewed and updated the policy to reflect significant changes that new technology has caused across the industry. Smartphone apps are now increasingly used to book vehicles and cross-border working, where taxis licensed in one district operate in another, is becoming more common.

Passenger welfare is central to the policy. Mandatory safeguarding training is proposed, alongside a section setting out the action to be taken where a driver has a conviction. Environmental health is also considered, with challenging emissions targets and a new requirement for drivers to switch off their engines when waiting in one of the borough's air quality management areas.

Councillor Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Public Safety and Licensing, said: "Taxi firms are a proud and crucial part of our town's transport network. As technology changes, it's important that our policies keep up so that industry standards remain high. Your views are key to ensuring that this policy supports firms in keeping people safe, representing our town and providing a good customer experience. 

"I would urge anyone who uses or drives these services to take part in the consultation, as well as businesses, authorities and other organisations."

The policy can be found at www.colchester.gov.uk/licensingconsultation. 

Anyone with an interest or involvement in the town's hackney carriage and private hire trade is invited to send their comments, observations and representations to licensingteam@colchester.gov.uk by 27 November 2017. 

 
ENDS