Wealden District Council

Taxi Changes Guidance

This page highlights the major changes that will apply to Dual Driver's Licences, Hackney Carriage Licences or Private Hire Licences with effect from 1st April 2013.

Please note that none of the changes are retrospective and will, therefore, only apply to the various licences when a new licence is granted or a licence is being renewed.

This information is also available to download as a pdf document at the bottom of the page.

Medicals

A medical, conducted to the DVLA group 2 medical standards, will be required with each and every application for the grant/ renewal of a dual drivers licence.

On reaching 65yrs of age drivers you will be required to submit a medical on an annual basis.

All medicals shall be conducted by the applicants own GP or that GP's practice.

MOTs

After 1st April 2013 all vehicles presented for licensing or re-licensing will require a current MOT certificate issued no more than four weeks prior to the date of licensing.

VCTs

The vehicle compliance test (VCT) will replace MOT's for the Councils purposes with effect from 1st April 2014.

Garages will also be able to provide the standard MOT at the same time, if requested.

Vehicles will be subject to two VCTs per annum and further details of how the scheme will work will be released in due course.

Knowledge Test

Persons applying for new driver licences will have to pass a Knowledge Test This will include questions on road signs, licensing conditions and local knowledge (of Wealden). Drivers will also be expected to have a basic standard of communication and numeracy skills.

Refunds

Refunds for the 'unused' years of a Dual Drivers Licence will no longer be issued on any applications for the grant/ renewal of a driver's licence granted after 1st April 2013.

Fees

Hackney Carriage Vehicle

  • 2013/14 £175
  • 2014/15 £200

Private Hire Vehicle

  • 2013/14 £155
  • 2014/15 £185

Fit and Proper Person Test

The authority makes a judgement, as to whether a person is a fit and proper person at all times. Drivers who telephone the Council and are rude or aggressive or who refuse to deal with female members of staff will be subject to disciplinary action or if a new applicant may be refused a licence.

Penalty Points Scheme

The Council has adopted a penalty points scheme, which will be implemented from 1 July 2013, visit our dedicated page for full details.

Private Hire Vehicles only

Exemption Certificates

The following policy has been adopted.

The grant of an exemption certificate, which will permit the use of the vehicle without the need to display vehicle licence plates, will be subject to the vehicle being of an acceptable standard and the vehicle being used only in one or more of the specific circumstances below:

1. Corporate bookings to transport employees and clients on business journeys and/or

2. Where the client specifically requests a vehicle of a prestige specification at the time of booking.

When so used the vehicle licence plates and the exemption certificate shall be carried inside the vehicle at all times.

This means that when you present your vehicle for the renewal of your existing private hire vehicle licence or for the grant of a new licence, and you request (and are granted) an exemption certificate, your private hire vehicle will be issued with vehicle licence plates which you will have to display at all times when not doing work as detailed above.

In the event of there being any dispute as to the vehicle use then the onus of proving that the vehicle was engaged in such work will lie with the operator of the vehicle and not the Council 

Hackney Carriages only

Meters

Sealed calendar meters are required to be fitted to all hackney carriage vehicles.

From 1 April 2013, it will be a condition of you licence that you have a sealed calibrated meter fitted. However, we recognise that you need sufficient notification and opportunity to make arrangements for its fitment in advance of licensing and therefore the condition will be implemented as follows:

From 1 July 2013, when you present your vehicle for the renewal of your existing hackney carriage vehicle licence or for the grant of a new licence, your hackney carriage will need to have the appropriate meter fitted.

A calibration certificate will also be required at the time of licensing/ re-licensing certifying that the meter has been calibrated at a rate that does not exceed the Council's maximum fare rate.

Meters can be obtained from:

Radio Relay, Brighton Road, Lewes, BN7 3JL 01273 483193

Smith and Humphries, 75 Ninfield Road, Bexhill, TN39 5BB 01424 732017

Road Radio Ltd, 5 Ifield Road, Crawley, RH11 7AP 01293 533612

Taxi Meters Plus, Unit1 Beach Mews,14 Beach Rd, Eastbourne, BN22 7EX, 07774424386

Fare Structure

The Council will be adopting a maximum fare rate with effect from 1st April 2013.

Bearing in mind the implementation period, outlined above, this means that from 1st July 2013, when you present your vehicle for the renewal of your existing hackney carriage vehicle licence or for the grant of a new licence, your hackney carriage will not only be fitted with the appropriate meter but it will be calibrated at a rate that does not exceed the Council's maximum fare rate.

Tariff cards will be displayed in a prominent position within the vehicle

It will be acceptable for meters to be calibrated at a lower rate than that shown on the Council's tariff however any cumulative rate charged must not exceed the Council's maximum.

Where lower rates are set then an additional tariff card showing those rates must also be displayed in a prominent position within the vehicle. The fare card is shown below:

 

Between the hours of 07:00 and 22:00 except on Bank holidays, Christmas and New Year's Eve
Any distance up to one tenth of a mile: £2.80
Each additional one tenth of a mile: 20p*
*For vehicles licensed to carry 5 or more passengers for each additional one tenth of a mile:30p Waiting time: 10p per 20 seconds

Bank holidays, Christmas and New Year's Eve and at any other time:
Any distance up to one tenth of a mile: £3.80
Each additional one tenth of a mile: 30p*
*For vehicles licensed to carry 5 or more passengers for each additional one tenth of a mile:45p Waiting time: 10p per 20 seconds

Complaints can be made to the Licensing Officer using the contact details below 

This information is also available to download. Download our Taxi Changes Guidance Document (pdf)

Contact Details