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Newport Taxi and PHV Policy Revision: Biannual DBS checks and emissions standards set

Updated: Mar 15

Newport City Council has unveiled comprehensive revisions to its Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Policy, marking a significant step towards its aims of enhancing public safety and environmental sustainability within the taxi trade.

These changes come as part of a national move, spearheaded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Welsh Government, advocating for standards across the United Kingdom.

The revised policy introduces a set of new standards and requirements, touching on aspects such as driver vetting, vehicle emission levels, and the adoption of technological advancements like CCTV in cabs. Specifically, the policy outlines the necessity for drivers to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks biannually and imposes the "Fit and Proper Test" for both drivers and vehicle proprietors.

On the environmental front, the policy mandates that new vehicles licensed after 1 March 2024, comply with Euro 6 emission standards, with a notable exemption for wheelchair-accessible vehicles to encourage their continued presence in the fleet.

Despite the overall positive direction, the policy has not been met without contention. Concerns have been raised by the taxi trade, particularly around the practicality of stringent DBS checks and the financial viability of transitioning to low-emission and electric vehicles. Input from trade representatives and public consultation has led to certain amendments, such as the removal of a contentious requirement for drivers to complete bookings once accepted, acknowledging the operational realities of the taxi service.


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