Barnsley Council are proposing to introduce new taxi and private hire licensing standards, which set out the requirements and standards that must be met by everyone working in the trade, including taxi drivers, vehicle owners and operators.
They say these new standards protect passengers and road users and promote safety across the borough. As the council works towards their vision of Barnsley, the place of possibilities, they say they want those who live, work in, and visit the borough to feel that Barnsley’s a safe place to be.
New proposed changes to licensing standards will help ensure that taxi or private hire users in Barnsley can feel confident that they will get to their destination safely and in comfort, the council has said.
The proposed key changes include:
More Regular (six-monthly) DBS checks on all drivers
Introduction of DBS checks for vehicle proprietors, operators and booking and dispatch staff
More regular maintenance and safety checks on vehicles.
requirement for licensees to notify the Council within 48 hours of an arrest, charge, or conviction for a specified serious offence
Better arrangements for information sharing between licensing authorities, police and other agencies
A whistle-blowers policy to promote self-policing by the licensed trade.
The policy consultation ran for ten weeks from June 2021, where the public gave their views of the new standards and had the opportunity to make any suggestions.
Cllr Steve Green, Chair of the General Licensing Regulatory Board, said: “I’m supportive of the new policy. We want to drive forward a modern, efficient and well-regulated taxi service for our residents in Barnsley. To reflect any changes in the taxi and private hire sector, either locally or nationally, we’ll review this policy at least once every five years and will consider changes at any time if we need to.”
Cllr Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services, said: “The introduction of these new licensing standards is a step in the right direction for the possibilities of Barnsley. With our growing town centre and Principal Towns with shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and leisure activities, ensuring that those living, working, and visiting our borough are safe is a number one priority. These new regulations will help residents feel assured that they can travel safely and can make the most of these upcoming facilities in the town centre and across the borough.”
Cabinet members will discuss these proposals at their next Cabinet meeting on 26 January, before being considered by members at their Full Council meeting on 3 February 2022.