Guildford Borough Council have opened up a public online survey to gauge proposed policy changes for taxi and private licensing in the area.
The council are urging people to log onto the online consultation to see the changes recommended and find out how they can provide their comments via the survey.
The survey will run from Monday 12 October to 5pm Monday 11 January 2021.
Guildford Borough Council are recommending that taxi and private hire drivers:
must sign up to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service. They must have a 6 monthly record check for any new conviction or other information. This is to improve public safety and confidence.
must 'self-report' any arrest, charges or conviction within 48 hours. The notification is currently within 7 days.
respect a code of conduct setting out expected standards. This would help improve standards and the service's professional image.
introduce a dress code to improve standards and the service's professional image.
In another big move the council are proposing that all vehicles should be fitted with CCTV systems.
In another big move, the council are proposing that all vehicles should be fitted with CCTV systems.
There are also discussions around the shift to cleaner electric vehicles. Whilst the council thinks it is too soon to recommend removing diesel vehicles or moving to a hybrid or electric fleet, due to the cost of vehicles and lack of charging points, the council are suggesting a two stage policy. This includes:
Vehicles licensed for the first time from 1 April 2021 (or the date when the policy becomes effective) must meet or exceed Euro 6 emission standards.
All renewal applications from 1 January 2025 must meet or exceed Euro 6 emission standards.
Then finally, from 1 January 2030 Guildford will only licence hackney carriage and private hire vehicles that are Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV). This includes new licences and renewals.
There is finally a proposed 'fit and proper' test for vehicle proprietors. According to the council, licensed vehicles are sometimes inspected and found to be in a defective or dangerous condition. As a result the council are recommending that action be taken against proprietors who do not maintain their vehicles to a satisfactory standard.
The council also claims that a licensed vehicle is sometimes used as a cover for illegal activity, such as moving vulnerable persons and contraband. It has been recommended that a DBS check for proprietors and previous convictions policy be introduced.
Anyone wishing to complete the survey should visit: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/A1CC1N/