On 24th July 2019, there will be a meeting at Southampton City Council Licensing to approve a document entitled: Safe and Suitable - guidance on determining the suitability of applicants and licensees in the hackney and private hire trades. This guidance has been produced by the Institute of Licensing in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA), Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the National Association of Licensing and Enforcement Officers (NALEO).
You can read the full document here:
Institute of Licensing - Guidance on Suitability
Page 24, paragraph 4.42, under the title 'Other Motoring Offences' states 'Where an applicant has 7 or more points on their DVLA licence for minor traffic or similar offences, a licence will not be granted until at least 5 years have elapsed since the completion of any sentence imposed.'
SHPHA are interested to know if any other councils have approved this document? Apart from St. Albans council in Hertfordshire who have already accepted this document in its entirety. If so, we would like to hear from you - please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Although not directly related to the taxi or private hire trade, we know a number of ex-heavy haulage drivers work in our industry as well as those with a personal interest in these fascinating vehicles. Popular magazine, Heavy Torque, is a quarterly magazine which features news and in-depth articles about abnormal transport and heavy lifting.
The magazine contains some really interesting articles showing the way some huge and unusual loads are transported around the country and beyond along with fantastic photographs. Heavy Torque even host their own awards for innovators and high performers in their industry called 'The Heavies.' You can see a selection of articles on the website and subscribe or buy individual issues online.
Why not go and have a browse? https://www.heavytorque.co.uk/
Members from the Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association are looking forward to attending the Private Hire and Taxi Monthly Exhibition in Milton Keynes next month.
PHTM is the UK's leading trade newspaper for the private hire and Hackney Carriage industry. The publication features editorials on all aspects of the taxi industry. Their yearly exhibition, which started in 1999, is the only national private hire and taxi exhibition in the UK.
This year's event will feature 65 exhibitors, 35 trade vehicles, driver and operator workshops along with Q&A forums on topics concerning the trade. Attending the expo is a great way to keep up to date with our evolving trade.
Taxi and private hire trade representatives had a meeting with the Deputy Leader of Southampton City Council (SCC) on the 25th April 2019 regarding how to improve Southampton train station (downside) to meet customers approval.
A company called WSP (Williams Sale Partnership) were in attendance, who will be undertaking the transportation, infrastructure and environmental issues connected with this project. WSP was established in 1969 and is now regarded as one of the largest professional services firms in the world.
The overall aim is to create more space for customers using Southampton train service and it will be a re-development of the station forecourt and surrounding area to cater amongst many things, the increase in passengers for Southampton's ABP's cruise terminals.
The end product should see more spaces for the parking of taxis and in June/July of 2019 the council will put in a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding.
Last week, Ian Hall, Chairman of the Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association was invited to attend a meeting at the Department for Transport. This was the third meeting he has attended in London over the past 12 months together with trade representatives and government officials.
Southampton is one of the five cities targeted by the government to improve air quality. This week’s meeting covered the progress made so far on the clean air programme, through a series of slides which you view by following the link below. They were also informed on the latest progress on the Task and Finish group reference taxi and private hire vehicle licensing.
Please follow the link below for more details of the meeting:
On Tuesday, the United Trade Action Group (UTAG) lost their legal challenge that proposed Uber's London operating licence, a 15 month probationary permit that was given in June, was granted by a biased judge.
The temporary license was granted by Chief Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, who stepped down from Uber-related cases in August when it was discovered that her husband was an advisor to an investment company who had shares in Uber.
Lawyers acknowleged she was not aware of the link but claimed she should have 'checked for any potential conflicts of interest.'
The claims were rejected in the High Court with Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett commenting the connections suggested by them fell 'well short of evidence.'
We are disappointed that the United Trade Action Group (UTAG) lost this case. This was going to be a difficult fight to challenge the establishment in the High Court. The London taxi trade is still the number one taxi service in the world, we can only offer words of support to UTAG from our association.
Online scams aimed at motorists are on the increase with a shocking 1275 reports to the DVLA regarding suspected vehicle tax scams in a three month period last year. Action Fraud say:
"We know that fraudsters are increasingly using more sophisticated ways to trick their victims, and so it is important that members of the public think about their online behaviour and ensure that they do everything they can to protect themselves."
Some of the most common scams that affect motorists online are:
- Text messages, claiming to be from the DVLA, asking for credit card details.
- Websites which enable you to apply for vehicle tax or driving licences and then add on an extra fee.
- Identity theft through the sharing of driving licences or car documents on social media.
- Websites offering telephone connection to DVLA contact centre through a premium rate number.
Earlier in the week, on Safer Internet Day, the DVLA published 7 tips for motorists to stay safe online - why not take a read here?
Did you know that the five cities targeted by Defra (Department of Environmental and Rural Affairs) for Clean Air Zones in the UK are Southampton, Derby, Nottingham, Leeds and Birmingham, and that Southampton is the only one of them with a Port?
ABP (Associated British Ports) of Southampton have also published their Clean Air Zone for the Port and are in agreement with Southampton City Council to become involved in the Green City Charter scheme which goes beyond Defra's requirements for clean air.
The taxi and private hire trade welcome the fact that the proposed £12.50 per day charging zone for taxis and private hires will now not take place, although, some of trade's vehicles will have to improve on their emissions.
We as a trade group look forward to working with the council on this matter.
You can read the latest Clean Air Update from Southampton City Council here.
Following the Clean Air Zone public consultation, Southampton City Council have promised '...a leap forward and bold new actions to tackling air pollution..'
Their latest clean air update included details of their proposal which would enable the city to comply to EU limit value for nitrogen dioxide by 2020 without the need for a charging zone.
Work on reducing nitrogen dioxide pollution over the last 3 years which include introducing cleaner city buses, cleaner fuels being used at the port and heavy investment in the cycling infrastructure have already reduced pollution by 24% in the most polluted areas and further measures proposed regarding the port, HGVs buses and taxis hope to increase this figure further.
Proposed measures aimed at taxis include; expanding the current low emission taxi scheme to support more operators, revising taxi licensing conditions to remove the most polluting vehicles and offering a 3 month 'try before you buy' scheme for electric taxis.
You can read the full clean air update from Southampton City Council here.
The Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association would like to wish all our taxi customers a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! When using taxis over the Christmas period, please make sure the vehicle you get into is licensed and for extra peace of mind take a note of the Southampton City Council plate number found on the rear of the vehicle - all Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles will have one displayed.