Section 174 – Licensing of taxis and private hire cars
737.Subsection (2) amends section 13(3) of the 1982 Act to provide that an applicant for a taxi or private hire car driver’s licence must have held throughout the period of 12 months immediately prior to the date of the application a licence authorising the person to drive a motor car issued under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988 or a licence which would at the time of the application entitle the person to such a licence without taking a test, not being a provisional licence.
738.Subsection (3) inserts new subsections (2) to (4E) into section 17 which provide that a licensing authority must fix scales for the fares and other charges referred to in subsection (1) within 18 months beginning with the date on which the scales came into effect. Subsection (3) provides that in fixing the scales under subsection (2) a licensing authority may alter the fares or other charges or fix fares or other charges at the same rates. Subsection (4) provides that the licensing authority review the scales in accordance with subsection (4A) before fixing scales under subsection (2). Subsection (4A)(a) provides that a licensing authority, in carrying out a review, consult with persons or organisations appearing to be representative of taxi operators in the area. Subsections (4A)(b) and (c) set out procedures for consultation and notification of the licensing authority’s proposals and subsection (d) provides that they consider any representations received thereon. Subsection (4C) sets out the duty to give notice as to the effect of the fare scales fixed and subsection (4D) contains the notification requirements. Subsection (4E) provides that after fixing scales, the licensing authority must notify all operators of taxis within their area and the persons and organisations consulted under subsection (4A)(a). Section 17(5)(a) is amended to extend the period provided for notification of a licensing authority’s decision from 5 days to 7 days.
739.Subsection (4) amends section 18(1) and introduces a new section 18(1A) to extend the right of appeal against the decision by a licensing authority in regard to the fixing of taxi fare scales or review to persons or bodies representative of taxi operators in the licensing area.
740.Subsection (5) inserts a new section 18A(1) which provides that following the fixing of scales the licensing authority must determine the date upon which the scales are to come into effect and publish them in accordance with the terms of section 18A(3) to (5). Section 18A(2) provides that the revised scales may not come into effect earlier than 7 days after the date on which they were published. Sections 18A(3) to (5) set out the notification procedures and the timescale to be followed. Section 18(9) is repealed in consequence.