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Eastbourne Council could drop wheelchair taxi requirement due to cost concerns as part of proposals

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Eastbourne City Council has initiated a public consultation to gather feedback on proposed changes to the licensing requirements for taxi and private hire vehicles.

One of the notable proposals is the removal of the mandatory requirement for new Hackney Carriage vehicles to be Wheelchair Assisted Vehicles (WAVs), following concerns raised by the trade regarding acquisition costs and difficulties associated with WAVs for new drivers.

The consultation, which commenced on Monday 31 July, aims to address feedback from both customers and individuals working within the taxi industry. In addition to completing a survey, respondents will have the opportunity to express their interest in participating in a focus-group session to share their views on the proposed changes.

Some of the significant modifications being considered include revising and simplifying the Penalty Points Scheme to enhance understanding for licensees and officers, as well as streamline investigations. Furthermore, the council is proposing the introduction of a Customer and Driver Charter, aiming to enhance the overall professionalism within the industry.

The consultation will also explore the option of introducing audio recording of CCTV systems within taxi and private hire vehicles, aiming to potentially improve passenger safety and addressing any potential disputes that may arise during journeys. Another proposal involves making it mandatory for all licensed vehicles to carry a spare wheel.

The public consultation will remain open until 5pm Sunday 10 September 2023, giving local residents and industry stakeholders ample time to provide their input on the proposed changes. The council encourages all interested parties to participate in the survey and express their opinions regarding the future licensing requirements for taxi and private hire vehicles in Eastbourne.


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