Advice issued on using Taxis in the Town

Harrogate Borough Council have issued advice for people using Taxis and Private Hire vehicles in the Town.

  • If you are going to be out late and don’t want to travel on public transport on your own, try to arrange a lift home with someone you know or make your journey by Taxi or Private Hire vehicle (PHV, sometimes called a minicab)
  • Taxis and PHV’s give you a degree of protection because vehicles and drivers must meet suitability criteria. These include local minimum standards for vehicles and a criminal record, DVLA and health check for drivers before they are licensed by Harrogate Borough Council.
  • You can hail a Taxi on the street or at a rank as well as pre-booking it but a PHV MUST BE pre-booked through a licensed PHV operator (not a PHV driver, unless he/she is an operator themselves). A Private Hire vehicle can never be hailed in the street or wait on a designated Taxi Rank.
  • You should always ensure that you travel in a licensed Taxi or PHV by checking the vehicle’s signage or plate and the driver’s ID badge. You should never agree to travel in an unlicensed vehicle with an unlicensed driver.
  • When possible check that the Taxi or PHV that arrives is the one you ordered. Ask when booking if it is possible for the plate number of the vehicle they are sending and check this when it arrives. You could also ask for the name of the driver beforehand and check this with his/her ID badge.
  • If you pre-book your Taxi or PHV, make a note of the company you are using, and the telephone number, and if possible leave it with a friend.
  • When you get to your destination, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.
  • If you are approached by someone in the street offering (ie touting for) a Taxi or PHV journey, ignore them. Touting is an offence. Indeed, it has recently been made recordable so that fingerprinting and DNA tests can be made on offenders. In the case of PHV it could also void the insurance as the journey was not pre-booked.
  • If travelling alone, always sit behind the driver in the back seat.
  • If you feel uneasy, ask to be let out in a well-lit area where there are plenty of people.If in any doubt about the vehicle or driver, make an excuse and don’t get in the vehicle.
  • The security of drivers is important too. Safety and security aids will range from a simple perspex screen between the driver and passenger of certain vehicles (ie E7, Vito’s ) to sophisticated CCTV equipment.
  • All Taxi and PHV’s licensed by Harrogate Borough Council are “non smoking”. It is now against the law to Smoke in a licensed vehicle and you can be fined for doing so.
  • A Taxi or PHV can charge a fouling charge if this is necessary. This is a maximum charge of £80.00 in addition to the fare for the journey taken. This is to cover the cost of valeting the vehicle in the case of vomiting, spillage of food, drink etc.

There are two types of vehicle that carry fare-paying passengers – Hackney Carriages (Taxis) and Private Hire vehicles, both of which have to be licensed by the Council. The licensing system exists principally to maintain and improve public safety standards.



Hackney Carriages (Taxis) roof sign

All Licensed Hackney Carriages (Taxis):

  1. Have to display a black licence plate near the rear registration plate. The plate will show the vehicle licence number and vehicle registration number as well as the number of passengers licensed to carry.
  2. Have standard design blue taxi door signs.
  3. Can use taxi ranks.
  4. Can be hailed or flagged down in the street.
  5. Can be booked in advance e.g. by telephone.
  6. Must have a meter and roof sign (as pictured above)
  7. Are subject to a tariff of fares, which the Council sets and which must be displayed in the vehicle. A meter fitted inside the vehicle calculates the precise fare.
  8. Are subject to vehicle inspections, in addition to the MOT test, every 6 months or 1-year dependant on age.
  9. Must have current vehicle insurance for taxi work.
  10. Are driven by Harrogate Borough Council licensed drivers who have demonstrated they are fit and proper persons.

Hackney Carriages (Taxi) - door sign in blueHackney Carriages (Taxi) – door sign in blue

 Hackney Carriages (Taxi) - number plate sign in black Hackney Carriages (Taxi) – number plate sign in black

 



All licensed Private Hire Vehicles:

  1. Must have a white licence plate near the rear registration plate. The plate will show the vehicle licence number and vehicle registration number as well as the number of passengers licensed to carry
  2. Have standard design red private hire door signs.
  3. Must be booked in advance and cannot be hailed or flagged down in the street
  4. Cannot use taxi ranks.
  5. Are not subject to fare scales set by the Council. Fares must be agreed before the journey commences. PHV’s can have meters and charge fares based on the taxi tariff if they so wish.
  6. Are subject to vehicle inspections, in addition to the MOT test, every 6 months or 1-year dependant on age.
  7. Must have current vehicle insurance for private hire work.
  8. Are driven by Harrogate Borough Council licensed drivers who have demonstrated they are fit and proper persons.

Licensed Private Hire Vehicle - door signLicensed Private Hire Vehicle – door sign

 

 Licensed Private Hire Vehicles - number plate sign  Licensed Private Hire Vehicles – number plate sign

 

Drivers

All drivers have been vetted by the Licensing Authority and must wear and display their identity badge that is plainly and distinctly visible.

The badges have the following information:

  1. Council’s logo
  2. Driver’s photograph
  3. Driver’s licence number
  4. Driver’s name

 

Compliments or Complaints

Harrogate Borough Council would like to know if you are satisfied with taxi and private hire services in Harrogate District or if there are lessons to be learnt from complaints:

  • make a note of the driver’s badge number
  • make a note of the vehicle plate number
  • note the time, date and place

Then please contact:

Mr Jason Whitehead (Licensing Officer, Taxis) Tel: 01423 556765

Mrs Belinda Pittam (Assistant Hackney Carriage Inspector) Tel: 01423 556755

The Hackney Carriage Office, Department of Community Services, 1st Floor of Springfield House, Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 5NX.

These contacts can also be used if reporting lost or found property.

Office hours are Monday – Friday 09:00 – 13:00hrs for drop in sessions, closed from 13:00 – 14:00hrs, appointments and telephone calls only from 14:00hrs.

 


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