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TAXI RANK REGS: What are the expectations and regulations placed on cabbies working taxi ranks?

As more taxi drivers return to the industry following easement of COVID restrictions over the last few months, the opportunities to find fares still remain low for many.

Whilst the number of taxi journeys are increasing, the number of cabbies returning means the increased work levels are being diluted by new drivers returning.

One of the key ways taxi drivers find work is at designated taxi ranks placed in key hotspots in the areas they are licensed.

Whilst work levels remain lower than normal, cab drivers have felt compelled to form longer ranks or new ranks in what they perceive to be busier areas.

In the last week a spokesperson from Transport for London (TfL) told taxi drivers: “We’ve been made aware of instances of over-ranking at taxi ranks, including at Oxford Street, London Bridge, Harrods and Kings Cross. Over-ranking causes congestion, road safety concerns and accessibility issues for wheelchair users and people with mobility impairments.

“Licensees are reminded that in some cases over-ranking can result in a Penalty Charge Notice.”

Cabbies have been warned to stick to the rules when it comes to ranking. But what are the specific rules around taxi ranks?

Below is a summary of the main rules regarding taxi ranks in London according to TfL:

  1. The drivers of the first two taxis on the rank or on any separate portion of the rank must be with their taxis at all times and must be available for hiring immediately.

  2. No driver shall allow their taxi to remain on a rank or any portion of a rank unless they are willing to accept any lawful hiring that may be offered.

  3. All drivers must move their taxis up as space becomes available and spaces must not be filled in any other manner.

  4. When a rank is divided into several portions, the driver of the taxi on each portion must move their taxi up to fill any space in the next portion as soon as a space becomes available.

  5. No broken down taxi must be left on a rank longer than is reasonably necessary.

  6. Taxi drivers must not congregate unnecessarily on, or obstruct, the carriageway or footway, and their behaviour must not cause any annoyance or disturbance to residents or other persons in the vicinity.

Taxi Rank Regulations

According to the Taxi Defence Barrister, Regulations made under section 19 and 21 of the London Hackney Carriage Act 1853 places these requirements on drivers in the capital:

  • Drivers to be with taxis (Reg. 1): The drivers of the first two taxis on a standing or any portion thereof must be with their taxis and available for hiring immediately.

  • Drivers to be willing to be hired (Reg. 2): A taxi must not be left on a standing or portion thereof unless the driver is willing to be hired.

  • Drivers to move up (Reg. 3): Drivers must move up on ranks to fill vacancies as they occur and vacancies must not be filled in any other manner.

  • Disabled taxis (Reg. 4): Disabled taxis must not be left on a standing longer than reasonably necessary to effect removal unless such disablement is temporary and is remedied without delay.

  • Drivers not to cause annoyance, etc. (Reg. 5): Drivers must not obstruct the carriageway or footway to cause annoyance or disturbance to residents or persons in the vicinity.

And what’s the penalty or fine?

A taxi driver found guilty of an offence relating to any of these Regulations can be prosecuted and fined up to £200.


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