Westmorland and Furness Council are encouraging residents and visitors to check their licensed taxi vehicle and driver ahead of new planned plate rebrand.
Over the next 12 months, all licensed vehicles will have their existing council plates replaced to display a rear plate with Westmorland and Furness Council branding. The plate number will be preceded by a letter: ‘B’ for Barrow, ‘E’ for Eden and ‘S’ for South Lakeland. Each of the front doors will also display a sticker with the vehicle’s plate number.
The council notified locals of the two different types of vehicle found operating both in the Westmorland and Furness area and nationally.
A taxi (proper name ‘hackney carriage’) can be taken from a taxi rank or hailed in the street and must display a roof sign and be fitted with a taximeter which measures the journey and calculates the cost.
The price on the meter is the maximum price that the driver can charge but they may choose to charge less. The meter must be used at all times so that the exact cost of the journey is clear.
Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked, and it is illegal for the driver of a private hire vehicle to pick up passengers if a telephone booking has not been confirmed by the operator.
Unlike hackney carriages, private hire vehicles do not have to adhere to the fare tariff set by the Council. Where no meter is installed, the advice is to always agree the fare in advance before travelling.
Councillor Neil Hughes, Westmorland and Furness Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "All vehicles operating in the Westmorland and Furness area are inspected regularly and thoroughly to ensure that they are clean, mechanically sound, insured and, above all, safe for the travelling public.
"Every driver has passed an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and local area knowledge test. They also regularly undergo medical examinations to ensure that they are physically fit to drive."