Updated: May 12
The first routine taxi checks under the new North Yorkshire Council have been carried out to ensure customers continue to be provided with safe vehicles and licenced drivers.
Working alongside North Yorkshire Police’s roads traffic team, hackney carriages and private hire vehicles in Skipton and the surrounding area were stopped and checked by the council during April.
Former borough and district councils have routinely carried out regular operations, but these were the first checks since the launch of the new unitary council for North Yorkshire on 1 April.
The checks included ensuring all vehicles were roadworthy and had the correct vehicle and driver signage and documentation.
The joint operations allow checks to be carried out on all taxis travelling through a specific area to be checked irrespective of their licensing authority.
Executive member for managing the environment, Cllr Greg White, whose portfolio includes licensing, said: "We take the safety of anyone using a taxi or private hire vehicle across North Yorkshire extremely seriously and the public should be reassured by the success of this operation.
"The safety of vehicles operating across the county, and those driving them, is important. It reflects well on the taxi trade in the Craven area that no major concerns for North Yorkshire licence holders where found.
"We will continue to carry out these operations to ensure standards remain high, and I would like to thank the team for their hard work and North Yorkshire Police for its support."
No formal enforcement action was required as all vehicles checked had the correct documentation and signage. However, during the operation one taxi licensed by a neighbouring authority was caught in Skipton doing speeds in excess of the 30mph speed limit.
Sergeant Pete Stringer from North Yorkshire Police said: "It is important to ensure the safety of everyone using the roads and we will continue to work alongside the council to make sure taxis using the road network are safe."
Since the launch of North Yorkshire Council, a single hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy for the county has been introduced.
The new policy incorporates the Department for Transport’s (DfT) taxi and private hire vehicle best practice guidance and statutory standards, to ensure that the public continues to be provided with safe and accessible vehicles. It also provides a coherent regulatory framework for the trade across the county.
Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles operate in different ways, with different standards and conditions applying to each type of vehicle.
Although it is possible to pre-book a hackney carriage, only those licensed by North Yorkshire Council can be hailed by passengers on the roadside or stand on a rank within the council’s area.
Unlike hackney carriages, all private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through an operator licensed by the same authority.
Both sets of vehicles must display an internal plate and signage, an external plate – on both the front and rear of their vehicle – as well as side panels. These all display the North Yorkshire Council branding as well as their licence number.
Hackney carriages (taxis) have black and white plates, while private vehicles have blue and white plates.
Hackney carriages must also display a sign, capable of being illuminated, bearing the word 'TAXI' facing towards the front of the vehicle mounted on the roof.