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.

Trafford’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

Trafford’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy outlines a set of proposed standards and procedures to be used by the Council to process and determine applications for driver, vehicle and operator licenses in Trafford.

The proposed licensing standards are based on the principles that anyone using a licensed vehicle must:

  • be able to trust their driver;
  • be assured the vehicle is safe;
  • trust any operator or driver to keep their information safe;
  • understand the vehicle is not contributing to emissions that could harm drivers, passengers and residents of Greater Manchester (GM).

The standards set out in our policy incorporate the proposed minimum licensing standards (see further information below) which are intended to form the cornerstone of the licensing framework used by all 10 GM licensing authorities. The policy also incorporates the Department for Transport’s recently published Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards.

The Council will be starting an eight week consultation on its proposed licensing policy from the 8 October 2020 and is keen to hear your views. The closing date for comments is Thursday 3 December 2020.

Greater Manchester minimum taxi licensing standards

Do you travel by taxi or private hire services? Whether you use them on a night out or to get around locally, we want you to have peace of mind on every journey. That’s why we have signed up to the minimum licensing standards, as part of Greater Manchester’s plans to make sure every journey is safe and reliable.

Taxis and private hire are a crucial part of our transport network, and the proposed minimum licensing standards will help make services more customer-focused, with high environmental and accessibility standards.

An eight-week public consultation on the proposals will start on Thursday 8 October 2020. This consultation will be the first of its kind and we’d like passengers, taxi and private hire drivers and operators to give their views.

To find out more visit Transport for Greater Manchester: GM Minimum Licensing Standards The closing date for comments is Thursday 3 December 2020

A Clean Air Zone for Greater Manchester

We need to clean up the air we all breathe. Air pollution damages our health and plays a part in thousands of deaths every year.

Greater Manchester has been directed by government to introduce a Clean Air Zone.

Within the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone the most polluting commercial vehicles would have to pay a charge to travel in the zone.  This action will bring harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) levels on local roads within legal limits in as short a time as possible. We’re also asking for more than £150m government funding support to encourage local businesses to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.

We have listened to residents and businesses while developing the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan. We are now consulting on key elements of the proposals, including the proposed Clean Air Zone boundary, daily charges for non-compliant vehicles, discounts and exemptions, and support funding.

Please read more about the proposals and take part in the consultation  which is now open and runs until Thursday 3 December 2020.

Latest updates regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Trafford Council is monitoring the current situation on coronavirus, closely following information and advice published by the government.

We recognise the important role that the trade plays and will continue to play in the life of the borough, and we will do all we can to support existing licence holders. We have had to make some difficult decisions and we wanted to make you aware of the following changes to our service for the next few months:

  • All business will be conducted via email licensing@trafford.gov.uk 
  •  Until otherwise advised there will be no face-to-face Licensing counter provision at Trafford Town Hall
  • If you are having any difficulty with online applications, please email the Licensing Officer at licensing@trafford.gov.uk with your badge number and mobile contact number.
  • The processing of new private hire and Hackney Carriage driver licences is suspended.

We will update you if service provision changes due to changes in Government guidance.

We know the trade are facing a very challenging and difficult time and Licensing Team will do everything possible to support you. If you have any questions regarding the above matters please email them to licensing@trafford.gov.uk

Trafford Council Licensing (12 November 2020)

We have implemented the following procedures to ensure that licence applications are processed and the service can continue to operate during this challenging period:

Knowledge test suspended

The knowledge test process is temporarily suspended until further notice.

We will be in touch when we are in a position to re-instate the knowledge test process. This will rely on advice coming from the government and we have no timescales to advise further.

Medicals

Medicals are still required.  If you cannot get an appointment with your GP then you can use the medical self-certification form, which will expire in December 2020, and you will need to arrange an appointment for an actual Medical Report before then.

Accident notifications

Email photographs of the damage to licensing@trafford.gov.uk

Hackney Carriage / private hire drivers (badges)

Renewal of Hackney Carriage / private hire vehicles (plates)

  • You can now submit an application to renew a Hackney Carriage or Private Vehicle Licence online.
  • During the initial Lockdown Measures, Licence Holders were given an extension to their bi-annual MOT until 30 September 2020.  If during the Lockdown Measures your 6 Monthly MOT has expired, then you must now upload a new MOT document on renewal which is clear of any advisories.  You can still use any MOT testing station for this purpose. 

New or transfer of Hackney Carriage / private hire vehicles (plates)

Email licensing@trafford.gov.uk with the following;

  • Application form
  • Log book (pages 1&2)
  • Insurance Certificate (Hire & Reward)
  • MOT (clear with no advisories and no minor defects)
  • Bill of Sale – either from the garage / dealer / auction or private sales letter must be provided from the previous owner giving their name, address, all vehicle details, new owner details and address, and signed and dated by both parties.
  • Photographs of vehicle front, both sides and rear.

Once these documents have been received, a Licensing Officer will check them and call you to take payment for your application, and post out the licence plate.

Owner transfer of Hackney Carriage / private hire vehicles

Email licensing@trafford.gov.uk with the following;

  • Application form
  • Log book (pages 1&2) or new keeper slip – licence will only be issued for one month if a full log book is not provided.
  • Insurance Certificate (Hire & Reward)
  • Bill of Sale – either from the garage / dealer / auction or private sales letter must be provided from the previous owner giving their name, address, all vehicle details, new owner details and address, and signed and dated by both parties.

Once these documents have been received, a Licensing Officer will check them and call you to take payment for your application, and post out your plate.

Option to lapse a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence for up to 3 months

The Licensing Team has received enquiries concerning the renewal of Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licenses, these queries include whether or not the Council can renew a licence without an MOT or Insurance Certificate for example.  Drivers have expressed a desire to reduce the costs of maintaining a licence when the vehicle may not be used because demand has reduced.

With this in mind, Trafford Council is allowing all Hackney Carriage Vehicle Proprietors to lapse their licence should they no longer wish to use the vehicle during the second lockdown.  As you know, if a licence lapses, the Council may release a Hackney Carriage Licence to a new proprietor.  This action will not be taken for a period of 3 months from the date your licence lapse.  It is hoped, that this relaxation will allow Hackney Carriage Drivers to take a decision which suits their individual needs in whether or not they want to renew their licence this month or lapse the licence for a period of up to 3 months.

This 3 month option may be reviewed at a later date but we cannot guarantee at this stage if the deadline will be extended; or, if it is, for how long it may be extended.

It is important to acknowledge at this point that if the option to allow your licence to lapse, where a suitable vehicle is not provided by the required date the hackney carriage vehicle licence will revert back to the Council.  The Council will then advertise the availability of a licence and issue the licence to an applicant who is able to provide a suitable vehicle.

Updated Government guidance

The Government has issued updated guidiance for staff in the transport sector which you should read.

In particular please pay attention to paragraphs 4.2 and 4.8 about taking necessary precautions about frequent hand washing and cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces this should include door handles and seat belt buckles of vehicles.

If you have any queries regarding this, or any other licensing related matter, contact a Licensing Officer either by phone on 0161 912 4242 or email licensing@trafford.gov.uk

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.

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.

We have a large waiting list and there is a significant waiting time for appointments.

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

All Hackney Carriage or private hire driver applications will require applicants to undertake our 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. 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: