Taxi licensing

Buckinghamshire Council are responsible for the licensing and enforcing of Taxi Licences.

Taxi Licensing in Buckinghamshire - Public Survey

The Council is responsible for licensing the drivers and operators of private hire vehicles (minicabs) and the drivers of hackney carriage vehicles (taxis) within Buckinghamshire, excluding Milton Keynes.

The main purpose of licensing is to ensure that the travelling public is provided with a safe and accessible means of transport.

We are developing a new taxi licensing policy to promote the highest possible standards to secure public safety. This supports our corporate priorities of protecting the vulnerable and improving the environment.

We welcome your views to help shape future policy decisions in this important area. Please take a few minutes to complete the short online survey.

The results of this survey will be used to help us prepare a new Draft Taxi Licensing Policy for the Council. The draft policy will be published later this year, when there will be a further opportunity to comment on it. We will adopt a final Taxi Licensing Policy in early 2021.

*Important Notice – Aylesbury Vale Area*

Covid-19 update

We are pleased to confirm that we are once again accepting new driver and vehicle applications.  As we return to our normal provision of service, we are required to remove some of the temporary relaxations that were introduced during the lockdown period.

Drivers must apply to renew their licence before it expires.  During the lockdown period existing drivers have been able to apply up to 3 months after expiry of their licence without the need to do the usual tests required of new drivers.  From 31 August 2020 the 3 month grace period will stop and any driver who fails to renew before their expiry date will be treated as a new driver from 1 September 2020.
   
Vehicle owners are once again required to present their vehicle for a full Council inspection before licences will be issued.  Please note that any vehicle that was issued a licence during the lockdown period and has failed to return for the mandatory Council inspection (and to collect the new style licence plates/window cards/door stickers) will be suspended until the vehicle has been satisfactorily inspected.
 

New vehicle testing station

From Monday 7th September 2020 all MOT’s and Enhanced Vehicle Inspections (EVI’s) will be conducted from the Council’s new testing station at Pembroke Road. Please read the Enhanced Vehicle Inspection and MOT Vehicle Inspection - Driver Guidelines which includes a location map for the new testing station and guidance for drivers attending the site, including guidance about Covid-19.

All drivers arriving on site must report to the new reception which is clearly signed. Drivers must attend alone and children are not permitted.

The new building and the area outside of the reception is a NO SMOKING site.

Access to the old reception area of the site is now restricted to authorised personnel only.

Protective Screens in private hire vehicles and taxis.

We have received a number of requests from owners who wish to install protective screens in their vehicles to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.  There is currently limited evidence about how effective these screens are in reducing the transmission of the virus.  Screens, along with other surfaces within the vehicle, require frequent cleaning.  The installation of screens can also introduce an additional risk to driver and passenger safety, particularly if the vehicle is involved in an accident.   

Any material change to the vehicle must first be approved by the Council to ensure vehicles remain safe.  Should you wish to make a request to install a protective screen, please contact the taxi licensing team with the information detailed below.  Unfortunately we will not be able to consider any request without this information.  

Information required:

  • Evidence that the product is compliant with government and industry regulations, for example the Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations and relevant safety, UK and European Community (EC) legislation.
  • Evidence that the product has been tested to relevant EU standards and approved by an appropriate certification organisation.
  • Confirmation that the screen will be fitted by a competent professional in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Detailed specifications of the screen construction.
  • Screen design that does not impede the driver’s vision, movement, or communication with passengers, or the driver or passenger access or egress to the vehicle.
  • Confirmation that the vehicle insurers will cover the modifications made to the vehicle.
  • Confirmation from the manufacturer that the installation does not compromise the integrity of the vehicle’s structure and safety features.
  • A written procedure detailing how the screen is cleaned in between customers.

Face coverings

Wearing face coverings on public transport was made mandatory in England from 15 June 2020, however taxis, private hire vehicles (and school transport services) were excluded from the definition of “public transport”.   This is because the taxi and private hire trade is already able to require (with limited exemptions) passengers to wear these. Taxi drivers are able to refuse to carry passengers where it is reasonable to do so, this might include those that are able but refuse to wear a face covering.  Private hire vehicle operators can make the wearing of face covering a condition of hiring.  Providers of Client Transport Services on behalf of the Council often have a special responsibility to carry particularly vulnerable passengers  who may not be comfortable with either themselves or vehicle crews wearing face coverings.  Transport providers should be sensitive to these needs and no client transport passengers must be refused a journey because they are not wearing face coverings.   We recommend that operators make customers aware in advance of any changes to their usual practices in response to Covid-19. 

Exploitation Safeguard Training

 

All licensed drivers are required to attend the Council's approved safeguard training. New drivers will not be granted a licence until they have successfully attended the training.

The council is unable to provide the usual mandatory Exploitation Safeguard training sessions at The Gateway.  Our training providers, CYP First, are running online training sessions for the time being. The next training available sessions will take place online via Zoom, on:

Wednesday,    23rd September 2020
Tuesday,          20th October 2020
Thursday,       26th November 2020
Wednesday,   16th December 2020

 

Sessions are at 10am, 2pm or 6 pm

To book simply text 07535 440 796 with your name, driver’s number, date and time you wish to attend. Important, please include an email address so we can send you your training invitation.  Please note you only need to attend if you have not previously attended the training with CYP First at The Gateway.