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Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

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Changes over time for: Licensing and regulation of public service vehicles

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Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, Licensing and regulation of public service vehicles is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 18 January 2020. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

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Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Order (including any effects on those provisions):

Licensing and regulation of public service vehiclesN.I.

Public service vehicle not to ply for hire, etc., unless driver, etc., licensedN.I.

F159.—(1) No public service vehicle shall stand or ply for hire or carry passengers for hire unless the driver,[F2 holds a passenger-carrying vehicle driver's licence, as defined in Article 70(2) or, as the case may be, a taxi driver's licence within the meaning of Article 79A].

(2) If a public service vehicle stands or plies for hire or carries passengers for hire contrary to this Article the owner of the vehicle shall be guilty of an offence under this Order unless he proves that the driverF2. . . acted without his privity or consent.

F1mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Public service vehicle not to ply for hire, etc., unless vehicle licensedN.I.

F360.—(1) A public service vehicle shall not stand or ply for hire or carry passengers for hire unless there is in force with respect to the vehicle a licence granted under Article 61 (in this Order referred to as a public service vehicle licence).

(2) If a public service vehicle is used in standing or plying for hire or is used to carry passengers for hire in contravention of this Article, the owner of the vehicle and the driverF4. . . of the vehicle shall be guilty of an offence under this Order but the driver,F4. . . shall not be guilty of an offence under this Article if he proves that he did not know that there was not in force in relation to the vehicle a licence granted under Article 61.

(3) Any public service vehicle which is used in standing or plying for hire or which is used to carry passengers for hire without having such distinguishing mark or plate as may from time to time be prescribed shall be deemed to be an unlicensed public service vehicle.

F3mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Grant of public service vehicle licencesN.I.

F561.—(1) Licences in respect of public service vehicles of such different classes as may be prescribed may be—

(a)granted by the Department in such form and upon payment of such fee (which shall be uniform in respect of every vehicle of a particular class);

(b)granted on such conditions and subject to revocation or suspension in such events;

(c)generally dealt with in such manner,

as may be prescribed, or as the Department may determine.

(2) A public service vehicle licence granted by the Department under paragraph (1) shall, unless sooner revoked or suspended, continue in force for one year.

(3) [F6Subject to paragraph (3A),] a public service vehicle licence shall not be granted under paragraph (1) unless the applicant for the licence—

(a)satisfies the Department that on the date when the licence will come into operation there will be in force, in relation to the user on a road of the vehicle for which the licence is sought, such a policy of insurance or such a security in respect of third-party liabilities as complies with the requirements of Part VIII;

(b)shows to the reasonable satisfaction of the Department that he will be in a position to satisfy all lawful claims which may be made against him in respect of damage to property caused by the user of the vehicle on a road.

[F6(3A) Paragraph (3) shall not apply to a public service vehicle owned by a company mentioned in Article 90(2)(aa).]

(4) Any condition on which a public service vehicle licence is to be granted may be either—

(a)prescribed; or

(b)inserted in or endorsed on the licence in respect of the vehicle,

and a condition so inserted in or endorsed on a licence shall have the like effect as if it were prescribed.

(5) The different classes of vehicles in respect of which licences are granted under this Article shall be distinguished in such manner as may be prescribed.

F5mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Public service vehicles not to carry more than the prescribed number of persons.N.I.

F762.—(1) A public service vehicle shall not carry a greater number of persons than that prescribed for the vehicle.

(2) If a greater number of persons than that prescribed for the vehicle is carried in a public service vehicle the owner of the vehicle and the[F8 driver] of the vehicle shall be guilty of an offence under this Order.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this Article, the court shall cause particulars of the conviction to be endorsed upon the licence granted under Article 61 in respect of the vehicleF9. . . .

(4) The ownerF9. . . of a public service vehicle who is charged with an offence under this Article shall, when required to do so, produce to the court before which he is charged the licence granted in respect of the vehicle under Article 61F9. . . and if he fails to do so shall be guilty of an offence under this Order.

Para. (5) rep. by 1991 NI 3

F7mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Limitation of continuous hours of duty of drivers of public service vehiclesN.I.

F1063.  Article 56 shall apply to the driving of public service vehicles as it applies to the driving of goods vehicles and paragraph (2)( b) of that Article shall in its application to public service vehicles have effect as if that sub-paragraph included a reference to any time spent by a driver on a public service vehicle in any capacity other than that of a passenger.

F10mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Power to stop and examine public service vehiclesN.I.

F1164.—(1) An authorised officer may stop and examine any public service vehicle which is plying for hire or carrying passengers for hire.

(2) If the authorised officer is satisfied that the vehicle does not comply with regulations made under Article 66 for ensuring the safety of passengers in public service vehicles and that danger to the passengers in the vehicle is likely to occur, he may require—

(a)the passengers to leave the vehicle; and

(b)suitable arrangements to be made by the owner of the vehicle for the immediate conveyance of the passengers to the places to which they are entitled to travel on the vehicle.

(3) If the owner of a public service vehicle fails to make suitable arrangements for the immediate conveyance of passengers upon being required so to do by an authorised officer under paragraph (2)( b) he shall be guilty of an offence under this Order.

(4) In this Article “authorised officer” means a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, or an officer of the Department who is authorised by the Department for the purposes of this Article.

F11mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Power to make bye-laws regulating public service vehicles within any areaN.I.

F1265.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Department may make bye-laws regulating public service vehicles (in this Article referred to as vehicles) used in standing or plying for hire, or used to carry passengers for hire, within any area.

(2) The purposes for which bye-laws may be made under paragraph (1) are—

(a)preventing vehicles from standing or plying for hire on, or preventing vehicles from using except in accordance with the bye-laws, specified streets or portions of streets or in any specified district in the area;

(b)preventing, either generally or during particular hours, vehicles carrying passengers from any depot or stand in any street or district in the area;

(c)prescribing which premises vested in or controlled by the Department and which portions of streets in the area may be used as stands or starting places for vehicles;

(d)prescribing the number of vehicles which may stand at each stand or parking place and fixing the charges to be made and the time during which vehicles may remain there;

(e)regulating the times and intervals at, and the order in, which vehicles may enter or leave such stands or starting places, or commence their journeys from any particular point or on any particular route;

(f)enforcing order at and on such stands, starting places, points and routes;

(g)reserving particular stands or starting places for the use of vehicles or of vehicles plying on particular routes, and excluding from those stands or starting places all other vehicles (whether within the meaning of this Article or not) and generally regulating access to and the use of those stands or parking places;

(h)prescribing the routes to be followed, either generally or during particular hours, by vehicles from one specified point to another within the area;

(i)excluding, either generally or during particular hours, from specified streets or portions of streets in the area all vehicles except those which are proceeding in one particular direction;

(j)prescribing the points within the area other than such stands or starting places at which, and the time during which, vehicles may stop for the purpose of taking up or setting down passengers, and preventing vehicles from stopping for such purposes at any points, or for longer than the time so prescribed;

(k)prescribing the distance, not exceeding 10 miles beyond the boundaries of the area, for which drivers of vehicles shall be obliged to carry passengers for hire;

(l)fixing the maximum rates or fares to be charged for or on vehicles for passengers and luggage within the area and a distance of 10 miles beyond the boundaries of the area, together with the minimum rates or fares to be charged therefor within the area, and for preventing the driver or conductor of a vehicle from demanding more, or accepting less, than the maximum or minimum fare so fixed.

(3) The provisions of Part VI of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 [1972 c.9] shall apply to bye-laws made under this Article and to bye-laws made under any local Act by the Department for the regulation of vehicles or any class or description of vehicles (by whatever name called); and in relation to such bye-laws made under a local Act the Department shall be substituted for any other confirming or approving authority specified in the local Act.

F12mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

Regulations for purposes of Articles 59 to 65F13. . . N.I.

F1466.—(1) The Department may make regulations for all or any of the following purposes, which regulations may apply to public service vehicles generally or to public service vehicles of a particular class,—

(a)prescribing F15. . . the fees to be paid on application for, and on the issue of, licences under Articles 61F13. . . ;

(b)regulating the manner in which the distinguishing mark or plate, referred to in Article 60(3), is to be shown on any such vehicle;

(c)regulating the number of persons who may be carried in any such vehicle, the space to be allotted to each such person, and the manner in which such number and space are to be indicated upon the vehicle;

(d)regulating the manner in which such vehicles are to be furnished or fitted;

(e)ensuring that such vehicles are fit for public hire;

(f)ensuring the safety of persons carried in such vehicles;

(g)providing for the inspection of such vehicles for the purpose of ensuring that they are fit for public hire and that persons may safely be carried in them;

(h)providing for the cessation of the use of any such vehicle which at any time fails to comply with the regulations;

(i)prescribing the classes of vehicles upon which a conductor must be carried in addition to the driver;

(j)requiring the wearing of badges by licensed drivers and conductors;

(k)regulating the conduct of passengers and of persons employed in connection with such vehicles;

(l)securing the due publication of the rates and fares to be paid by passengers in such vehicles or for the hire of such vehicles;

(m)securing the safe custody and delivery to its owner of any property accidentally left in such vehicles and fixing the charges to be paid in respect of safe-keeping and delivery and empowering prescribed persons to cause such property to be sold, or given to the finder, in the event of its not being claimed within a prescribed time;

(n)providing for the performance by constables of such duties as may be assigned to them under Article 64;

(o)prescribing anything which is required to be prescribed by Articles 59 to 65 and generally for giving effect to those Articles;

(p)requiring documents of any prescribed description relevant to the administration or enforcement of any directly applicable Community provision regulating the provision of international passenger-carrying road transport services to be kept and produced on demand for the inspection of a prescribed person;

(q)prescribing persons to act as authorised inspection officers for purposes of any such Community provision;

(r)without prejudice to any of the above sub-paragraphs, prescribing anything which is authorised to be prescribed under this paragraph by virtue of Article 10(1) of the Transport (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 [1977 NI 10] .

(2) The Department may by regulations exempt from all or any of the provisions of Articles 59 to 65F13. . . or of any regulations made under paragraph (1) public service vehicles or any class or description of public service vehicles registered elsewhere than in Northern Ireland or brought temporarily into Northern Ireland or the drivers of such vehicles or modify or adapt such provisions in relation to such vehicles or drivers.

(3) Where any such directly applicable Community provision as is referred to in paragraph (1)( p) requires the keeping or production of any document, any person who contravenes that requirement shall be guilty of an offence under this Order.

F14mod. by SR 1981/199

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Arts. 59-66 excluded (23.11.2009 for specified purposes, 31.5.2016 in so far as not already in operation) by Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (c. 4), ss. 54(1), 59; S.R. 2009/352, art. 2, Sch.; S.R. 2015/389, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. 3

[F16Car-sharing arrangementsN.I.

66A.(1) A motor vehicle carrying passengers for payment in circumstances in which the conditions set out in paragraph (2) are fulfilled shall not by regarded as a public service vehicle [F17or taxi (within the meaning of the Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008)] .

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) are—

(a)that the vehicle is not adapted to carry more than 8 passengers in addition to the driver;

(b)that the payment or aggregate of the payments made in respect of the journey by the vehicle does not exceed the amount of the running costs of the vehicle for the journey; and

(c)that the arrangements for payment by the passenger or passengers so carried were made before the journey began,

and for the purposes of sub-paragraph (b) the running costs of a vehicle for a journey shall be taken to include an appropriate amount in respect of depreciation and general wear.

(3) In this Article “payment” includes consideration of any kind, whether monetary or not.]

Articles 67-69 rep. by 1995 NI 18

Articles 70-79 rep. by 1991 NI 3

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