Bradford Council is currently making a decision on new rules that will affect hackney carriage and private hire vehicles licensed within the area. The council are reviewing issues such as the fees and conditions of a licence which have led to a number of recommendations. They include the improvement of training, the extension of licence periods, annual testing criteria and clarification on the impact of criminal convictions and penalty points on the issuance of a licence.
More specifically, some of the potential changes involve giving drivers the option of applying for a three year licence instead of having to renew it annually. This can provide a saving of £44. This will be beneficial as the cost of drivers’ badges, vehicle testing and licensing increased by 35% in 2009. The proposed new system will also reduce fees for vehicles over six years old by £100 to £250 a year, with just one MOT test required. In order for taxi drivers to gain even more savings, they should find cheap taxi insurance quotes.
The matter was first brought up in March and discussed among the Council’s regulatory and appeals committee. A decision was deferred however, as councillors wanted more time to collect additional information on the current procedures and examples of the exceptional circumstances in which a licence can be issued.
Addressing the committee in a new report on the process of issuing a licence, the Council’s fleet and licensing manager, Carol Stos said, “In general terms, anyone suspected of contravening a licensing requirement is initially interviewed by either a licensing or enforcement office. The officer seeks to ascertain all relevant facts and presents these, where required, to the licensing manager.
The licensing manager considers the facts against the relevant requirements along with any mitigating circumstances (for non-safety contraventions only) and where contraventions are confirmed will forward the case for the attention of the reviewing officer.”
“The reviewing officer is an independent senior Council officer who sits outside of the licensing office structure. Their role is to ascertain whether an applicant is ‘fit and proper’ to be granted a driver’s or operator’s licence. With regards criminal convictions, the reviewing officer reviews the circumstances of the case to determine whether a person poses a threat to the public and is in fact ‘fit and proper’ to be granted or hold a licence.”