Taxi and private hire news

Here you can catch up with the latest news about what is happening in the Taxi and Private Hire Trades in Trafford - from Council decisions and new initiatives to enforcement operations and prosecutions. If you have news you think may be of interest to the Taxi and Private Hire Trades please get in touch using the details provided on this page.

Greater Manchester minimum standards for taxis and private hire

You may have heard about the work being undertaken by Licensing Managers across GM to develop a consistent approach to hackney carriage and private hire licensing. This is a significant piece of work, with potentially wide ranging implications for the trade and the industry within GM.   

The proposed minimum standards have been developed by the ten Greater Manchester authorities to achieve a single vision for licensed vehicles in future, which support the GM Clean Air Plan proposals to tackle air pollution across Greater Manchester. These proposals will allow any person using a vehicle licensed in Greater Manchester to be assured that a high level and standard of check has been carried out. In addition, this will ensure, as far as possible, that the driver can be trusted, the vehicle is safe, and is not contributing to poor air quality. They will also be assured, as far as possible, that any operator licensed in Greater Manchester who they book a journey with will hold their information safely and that it will not be misused. This supports the key licensing principles of public protection.

A leaflet explaining some of the proposed GM Minimum Standards is now available to read or download in advance of the formal consultation. The GM Authorities are still seeking clarification from Government in relation to aspects of both the clean air plan and their intentions around national minimum standards for taxis and private hire vehicles. The formal consultation on GM minimum standards is on hold pending the necessary clarifications.

New driver applications

If you wish to apply to be a hackney carriage or private hire driver please complete the Registration for taxi driver application. Your details will be kept on a waiting list until we can send you an appointment date to submit your application.

Please note, the application form, medical form and DBS form should not be completed and signed earlier than 28 days before submission to the Licensing office.

If you have completed and submitted the web form do not ring the Licensing Office to enquire about progress. You are on the waiting list and you will be contacted when we are in a position to offer you an appointment.

Please be advised that we have a large waiting list and there is a significant waiting time for appointments.

In May 2018 Trafford Council consulted about proposals to reintroduce a Driver Knowledge Test for all new driver applicants; and to increase the English Language standard to that expected for those seeking naturalisation as a British Citizen.

On the 20th September 2018 the Council’s Public Protection Sub-Committee considered the results of the consultation exercise and a report which contained proposals in relation to the Driver Knowledge Test.  The Sub-Committee decided that it was in the interests of public safety that a Driver Knowledge Test be reintroduced into Trafford Council’s driver application process and that the standards of the English Language requirement be increased.

A summary of the changes to the application process:

English language standard

Adequate communication skills and language proficiency are considered by Trafford Council to be essential for the work of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle driver.  Drivers need to correctly understand and follow directional instructions from a passenger, to effectively handle fare disputes and be able to give and follow instructions in an emergency situation which may be stressful.  It is also vital that licensed drivers understand and adequately communicate when they are the subject of complaint or enforcement interventions.

Therefore, as part of the application process for a hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence, all new applicants will be required to demonstrate that they meet the required English Language minimum standards during the application process.

The knowledge test

Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle drivers need a working knowledge of Trafford and the surrounding areas that they work in and Trafford Council consider it to be essential that drivers have an awareness of general factors that will affect they how they operate as a licensed driver.

Therefore, as part of the application process for a hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence, all new applicants will be required to undertake the Council’s Driver Knowledge Test.

Applicants are wholly responsible for the costs associated with undertaking the Council’s Driver Knowledge Test during the application process.

What it means for you

We are therefore writing to let you know that from the 1st September 2019 we will be implementing the Driver Knowledge Test requirement and the new standard of English Language requirement into the Council’s Driver Application process.  This means that all hackney carriage or private hire driver applications processed after the 1st September 2019 will require applicants to undertake the Council’s Driver Knowledge Test and to  demonstrate that they meet the new English language standard as part of the application process.

What will happen next?

We will contact you by email when we reach your position on the waiting list with further details of the Council’s application process and what is required of you. At that point, we will confirm the steps of the application process and the fees that will be payable by you in respect of the application process.

We can confirm that we will be dealing with people in accordance with their existing place in the current queue.  Please note that whilst we are using our best endeavours to get to each person on the waiting list as quickly as we are able to do so,  a considerable queue has formed to date which means that there may be a considerable delay before we reach you depending on your current position on the waiting list.

Trafford unmet demand survey 2015

Under the Transport Act 1985, councils may only limit the number of hackney carriage vehicle licences issued for its area where there is no 'significant unmet demand'. The issue of whether or not there is significant unmet demand must be determined through robust statistical analysis of the results of a survey of the demand within that Authority's area. Recent Government guidance recommends that such surveys are undertaken every three years.

In Spring 2015 the Council arranged for a survey to be undertaken to report on the demand for hackney carriages in Trafford. The final report is available to download below: