We have a statutory responsibility to licence the hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire trade operating within our area.
Vehicles used as hackney carriages and for private hire must be licensed. This also applies to drivers and, in the case of a private hire business, the operator.
The council can only licence vehicles with up to 8 passenger seats. Anything above this is dealt with by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
The main difference between a hackney carriage (taxi) vehicle and a private hire vehicle is that hackney carriages are permitted to use designated ranks and can also be hailed down in the street. They are usually identified with a TAXI sign on the roof and the council approves the maximum tariff for fares and other charges.
There are two different tariffs for hackney carriages within East Suffolk; one in the north of the district and one in the south (the former Waveney and Suffolk Coastal geographical areas). East Suffolk Hackney Carriage licence holders must choose one of these areas. The vehicle plate will identify the chosen area.
|Hackney carriage (taxi) fare tariffs in the East Suffolk area|
|Hackney carriage (taxi) fare tariff - South||Hackney carriage (taxi) fare tariff - North|
Private hire vehicles cannot be hailed down in the street and must be pre-booked via the office or base of a licensed ‘private hire operator'. Private hire vehicles must not have roof signs but are permitted to have stickers and signs. There is no set fare for a private hire vehicle journey, so the fare price should be confirmed at the time of booking.
Hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire vehicles in our district are required to have large licence plates fixed to the rear of the vehicle showing the council’s logo, the licence number, vehicle type and registration, and the licence expiry date. A smaller version of this licence plate must also be displayed on the inside of the front screen of the vehicle.
In addition to this the licensed driver is required to wear an identity badge showing the driver’s licence number, an ID photo, and licence expiry date.
The public register of licences has been divided into North and South areas. These areas reflect the former licensing authority districts.
|Public registers of hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire licences in the East Suffolk area|
|East Suffolk South hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire licence register||East Suffolk North hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire licence register|
Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 requires the drivers of those vehicles contained in a list published by local authorities under section 167, to carry passengers in wheelchairs, provide assistance to those passengers, and prohibits them from charging extra.
|Listing of Wheelchair accessible licensed vehicles and drivers|
|Wheelchair accessible licensed vehicles and drivers|
If you would like to become a licensed driver there are several checks which you will have to pass, with separate fees payable for each of the checks:
There are a number of conditions attached to driver's licences and they can be found in the guidance notes for new applicants which you can download or print off below along with the application form and information about the council's policy on relevant convictions:
The medical form must be sent or collected directly from the council offices. You can contact us to request the form. We will help applicants/existing drivers with filling in the DBS form when they come to our offices for their appointment.
From January 2019 all existing drivers and new applicants are required to undertake training on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The training consists of an online module and will take approximately half an hour to complete. Successful completion of the course is required before a private hire or hackney carriage driver’s licence is renewed or issued.
If you would like to licence a vehicle as either a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle, the vehicle must meet the requirements of the standard MOT test as well as additional measures laid down by the Council and set out in our Manual of Inspection Standards (copies are available from us on request). There are a number of conditions attached to vehicle licences and these can be found in the guidance notes for new applicants:
A private hire vehicle can only be dispatched to a customer by a private hire operator. This is a person who holds an operator’s licence under Section 55 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 Part II.
There are a number of conditions to which an operator must adhere in order to retain his/her licence and these can be found in the guidance notes for new applicants:
Auto-Rickshaws or Tuk-Tuks are motorised (electric motor or traditional internal combustion) typically with three wheels, designed for various uses one of which being for the purpose of carrying fare paying passengers - normally two or three although larger vehicles can carry up to six passengers.
Cycle-Rickshaws or Pedicabs, are pedal powered cycles (sometimes electrically assisted) with typically three or four wheels, used for the purpose of carrying fare paying passengers - normally two.
Both categories of vehicle, motorised or un-motorised, used to transport passengers on a ‘hire and reward’ basis require regulation.