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Staying Safe When Using Taxis/Private Hire Vehicles

Coronavirus: Licensing - Taxis

You should wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.

The risk of transmission is small at 2 metres and where possible, you should maintain 2 metres distance.

If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1 metre distance where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

Follow the advice of the driver. For example, you may be asked to sit in the back left-hand seat if travelling alone. You may want to check with your taxi or private hire operator before travelling if they have put any additional measures in place.

You should use contactless payment if possible, or find out if you can pay online in advance.

Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

When finishing your journey wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible.

Only travel into, out of and within areas under local lockdown if your travel is essential.

East Staffordshire Borough Council licences two types of taxis to carry the public.

Hackney Carriage Vehicles

  • A licensed driver must wear their identification badge at all times.
  • ‘Hackney Carriages’ are also known as ‘taxis’ or ‘cabs’ and display a ‘TAXI’ sign on the roof.
  • A ‘Hackney Carriage’ does not have to be pre-booked and can be flagged down off the street or park on a ‘taxi rank; (we call this ‘plying for hire’)
  • ‘Hackney Carriages’ are fitted with meters which show the price of the fare. Drivers are not allowed to charge more than the shown fare at the end of the journey but can charge less if they choose to do so. They must by law put the meter on.
  • A ‘Hackney Carriage’ can be pre-booked through a Private Hire Operator who has a prior arrangement with the ‘Hackney Carriage’ driver to temporarily operate as a ‘Private Hire Vehicle’
  • ‘Hackney Carriages’ will display a white plate at the rear of the vehicle, stating the licence number and how many passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry. They also display a panel on both front doors, showing the Council’s logo

Private Hire Vehicles

  • A licensed driver must wear their identification badges at all times
  • A ‘Private Hire Vehicle’ can only be hired by a booking made through a licensed Private Hire Operator
  • The ‘fare’ of the journey must be agreed between the Private Hire Operator and the passenger when booking the journey.
  • A ‘Private Hire Vehicle’ cannot ply for hire, park on a taxi rank or be flagged down from the street. This invalidates their insurance policy.  Any person witnessing this should report it to the Enforcement Team.
  • Private Hire Vehicles’ licensed by East Staffordshire Borough Council display green plates at the front and rear of the vehicle, stating the licence number and how many passengers the vehicle can carry. They also display a panel on both front doors, showing the Council’s logo, details of the company and will state ‘advanced bookings only’.

If you are approached by someone in the street, offering you a lift, ignore them as this is classed as touting and is illegal.

A vehicle not displaying door panels, licence plates or the driver not wearing their badge, should not be used in case they are bogus, un-checked and un-insured.

If you have any feedback, comment or complaint concerning a taxi driver, vehicle or operator please complete the report form or alternatively call the Enforcement Team directly on 01283 508506