Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licences

The authority is required to issue licences and set conditions on hackney carriages and private hire vehicles to ensure the vehicles used are safe and comfortable and that the drivers are fit and proper persons, medically fit, knowledgeable and free from relevant convictions.

Hackney carriages can be hailed at the roadside. They have a ‘Taxi’ or ‘Tacsi’ roof sign, a licence plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle and door stickers on either side. The plate and stickers are yellow. The vehicles are black.

Private hire vehicles cannot be hailed at the roadside. All private hire vehicles must be pre-booked. There is no light on its roof and green licence plates and stickers are displayed on the vehicle. If a private hire vehicle stops when hailed it is likely that persons travelling would not be insured.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Service Information

Please note that Pontypool Service Centre is currently closed but it is due to reopen on 1st June 2020.  Mot-a-Zone, Cwmbran remains open for licensed vehicle compliance tests, however. All licensed vehicles over 1 year old must have a current certificate of compliance if they are to be used for public or private hire.

Right to work checks have been temporarily adjusted to make it easier for employers to carry out the checks during the Coronavirus outbreak.  Guidance on how to undertake a Right to Work check during the outbreak is available on the GOV.UK website.

The Welsh Government has published information and guidance for the taxi and private hire trade.

In addition we have collated some information which you may find useful and is available to download.

The Licensing team ask that until further notice all applications and required documents are submitted via email to licensing@torfaen.gov.uk. All applications must be fully completed and include a telephone number so that we may contact the applicant should there be any queries. 

We will confirm receipt of each application by e-mail and will provide details on how to make payment using the online paymeny system which is now in place.

Please note that an application will not be deemed valid and properly made until payment is received. Renewal applications and payment must be received before the licence expires.

If you need to submit a Hackney Carriage / Private Hire drivers licence renewal, please email the licensing team licensing@torfaen.gov.uk for further advice.

Application forms are available below for your use.

  • Important information about new applications (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver’s Licences & Vehicles) – any new applications will be held until such a time as they can be determined.  Given the current situation, we are unable to give you a definite timescale.

The team are currently working on a day by day basis following guidance as it is provided and all of the above is subject to change at any given time. We are keeping our website up to date and ask that you check the site on a regular basis

Our preferred means of contact during this time is via email to licensing@torfaen.gov.uk 

Forms for download and email submission

These forms are available in Word format only at the moment.  Where a written signature is normally required, we will currently be able to accept the completion of your name on the form in lieu of this.

Child Sexual Exploitation - Know the signs

To help keep children safe Heddlu Gwent Police are again urging members of the public to be vigilant about this kind of criminality, and to contact them by dialling 101 or 999 in an emergency with any information they may have. To help members of the public recognise the signs of exploitation and abuse Gwent Police have published a web page.

The Police would rather hear from concerned members of the public who report issues which turn out not to be Child sexual exploitation (CSE), than not be called at all.

Policy on the Administration and Regulation of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licences

The Licensing Committee approved a revised “Policy on the Administration and Regulation of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licences” which came into effect on the 1st October 2019.

The changes introduced by the amended policy now prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in licensed Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles, and replace the existing convictions policy with the Institute of Licensing “Guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees in the hackney and private hire trades”. A copy of the Policy on the Administration and Regulation of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licences is available to download. 

Changes to Policy relating to Fire Extinguishers in vehicles

On the 30th April 2015 the Licensing Committee approved the removal of the condition for licensed vehicles to carry fire extinguishers, it will no longer form part of any test or inspection of the vehicles.

This does not mean that you cannot carry an extinguisher if you wish, but if you do it has to be tested and inspected to be safe. It is preferable not to carry one at all rather than one that is not tested.

The reasoning behind this decision can be seen by viewing the Licensing Committee Report

Office Opening Hours

The opening hours for personal callers to the office at New Inn for the licensing team are Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 12:00 midday. Where this causes difficulties, in exceptional circumstances, an appointment can be made to visit outside of these hours. Please contact the office to arrange this. We are available on the telephone (01633 647284) between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Keeping records of complaints and other issues that are reported by your customers

The Council’s policy is very clear on what records an operator has to keep with regards to complaints.  Please consult the relevant section of the council’s policy - this must be complied with.

We accept that our policy is less clear on keeping records of lost/found property, however it should be a matter of common sense to protect yourselves; ie if a customer reports the loss of some property or property is found, that a record is made of the loss/find to protect you from future allegations that either licensing officers or the police may be required to investigate.

It is recommended that whenever a customer either:-

  • Makes any form of complaint against a driver or any person that the company employs
  • Reports any incident with a licensed vehicle, driver or operator
  • Reports any loss or damage to their property
  • Makes a special request, e.g. not to have named drivers.

That these matters must be recorded and investigated by the operator in compliance with the council’s policy.

It is also important that anyone working on your reception areas are made aware of this requirement and are given adequate training to comply 

Officers operate a proactive inspection programme of all operators licensed in Torfaen to ensure that these provisions are being complied with.

Criminal Record Checks

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) are now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).   

From the 17th June 2013 the DBS changed the way that they deal with checks for employees and licence holders, which affects the way that your DBS checks will be administered by the council.  The main change is that the employer/council will no longer receive a copy of the disclosure certificate,  the DBS will only send a certificate to the person subject of the check.

More information about changes to Criminal Record Checks can be found here.

Electronic Cigarettes

We are often asked about the use of electronic cigarettes in relevant premises, and licensed vehicles.  The advice/information we are currently giving is that:

  • Whilst they are not illegal it would be hard to prove that they are not a real cigarette if seen by an enforcement officer passing by
  • That it does not send the correct message to the customers and could lead to abuse of the legislation
  • JD Wetherspoons pubs have decided to implement an internal policy to prevent their use on their premises

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide information here when necessary.

Fares

The current schedule of  Hackney Carriage Fares is available to download. If you have any questions or complaints about fares, please contact us.

The Equalities Act

The Equalities Act 2010  introduced regulations that all taxi and private hire drivers have to comply with.

The duties being placed on the drivers of designated wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles are:

  • to carry the passenger while in a wheelchair
  • not to make any additional charge for doing so
  • if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair
  • to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
  • to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required

A copy of The Equality Act 2010 can be viewed here.

 

Please Note - Torfaen County Borough Council (The Council) is under a duty to protect the public funds which it administers and to this end may use the information you provide within Torfaen County Borough Council for the prevention and detection of fraud. The Council may also share this information with other bodies administering or in receipt of public funds solely for these purposes. For further information, visit the National Fraud Initiative area of the website. 

Last Modified: 27/05/2020
For more information contact:

Licensing Team

Tel: 01633 647286

Email: licensing@torfaen.gov.uk

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