South Tyneside Council is responsible for making sure that the taxi and private hire services provided to the public in the borough are of the highest standard.
The council’s taxi and private hire licensing policy sets out how the authority exercises its licensing functions when making decisions about new licence applications, renewals and current licences.
And council chiefs are busy renewing the policy to reflect the Department for Transport’s new statutory guidance for taxi and private hire standards.
This includes a new age policy and emissions standard for vehicles entering the trade.
It also takes into account legislation changes, recent case law and experience gained by the council in its role as the licensing authority.
Residents, businesses and visitors are invited to share their views on the proposed changes to the way taxis and private hire vehicles are licensed and operated.
Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “The taxi and private hire trade is an integral part of the Borough’s local transport network. It not only plays an important role for the travelling public but provides accessibility to all social groups as well as essential support for our home to school transport service.
“We are developing a new policy to promote the highest possible standards across the service, with the key aims of ensuring the safety and welfare of the public and providing efficient, effective and sustainable services.
“One of the proposed updates also encourages environmental sustainability, supporting the council’s own commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The draft policy has been developed alongside the council’s climate change strategy as well as the integrated transport plan for South Tyneside.
“As the proposed new policy affects a large proportion of residents, users and providers, it is important that local people have the opportunity to express their views and help us to shape a policy that will serve South Tyneside well for the next five years.”
In setting out the revised policy, the council says it aims to carry out its functions under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Town Police Clauses Act (1847), by promoting:
:: The safety and protection of the public through ensuring licensed vehicles are safe, clean, reliable and accessible to meet the needs of local people. It also provides confidence in the system the Council uses for assessing whether or not an applicant is fit and proper
:: The protection of children and vulnerable adults by placing the protection of the public at its core through mandated child sexual exploitation (CSE) awareness training for all drivers
:: Environmental sustainability
:: Clear and transparent clarity regarding the authority’s decision-making process.
People and businesses are urged to get involved with feedback and comments encouraged by the deadline of December 5, 2021.
The document can also be viewed in person at the council’s licensing section at South Shields Town Hall.
Contact the licensing team to arrange a viewing on (0191) 424 7946.