Safety first with new hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy

A new hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy has been approved by Trafford Council’s Executive.

Members last night (Wednesday, November 15) gave their support to the Council to adopt the new policy which has been introduced to further reinforce the safety of all passengers using locally licenced vehicles.

The policy, which will now have to be officially signed off by Full Council on November 22, explains the process for applying for licences, the checks the Council will have to carry out, our enforcement procedures and how we determine applications. If fully approved, it will come into effect from December 1, 2023.

The document explains how drivers apply for a licence, how the Council imposes stringent checks on drivers and how it fully checks criminal records and the applicants’ right to work. A knowledge test for new drivers is in place as well as an assessment regarding standards of English speaking and listening. Full training for all new drivers covering topics of equality, safeguarding, modern slavery and compliance with licence conditions is also provided as part of the policy.

Other major policy changes, which come into force from December 1, 2023 include: all licensed vehicles must display licence plates on the front and rear of the vehicles. Private hire vehicles drivers must only display stickers provided by the licensing authority which will bear the Council’s logo and the wording ‘Private Hire Vehicle – not insured unless booked through the operator’ and display those stickers on both rear side doors. The Council is also imposing a rule that emission standards must be compliant with current Euro emissions standards.

The policy also confirms that from the April 1, 2026:

  • All private hire vehicles must be under 10 years old
  • All wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles must be under 15 years
  • All purpose-built Hackney Carriages must be under 15 years old

Cllr Rose Thompson, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Safety, said: “Trafford Council is committed to ensuring that the safety of every passenger using locally licensed hackney carriage and private hire is not compromised in any way. Our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy sets out a number of stringent rules which must be followed by each and every driver.

“The rules take into account the safety of the vehicle and the drivers’ background, right to work, and knowledge. We will come down hard on any driver who does not comply with the rules in any way, shape or form. Safety is always our number one priority!”

Posted on Thursday 16th November 2023