A Private Hire Operator licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for the dispatch of Private Hire Vehicles to fulfill such a booking. The driver of a Private Hire Vehicle cannot accept any bookings unless he/she holds a Private Hire Operator licence or works for a licensed Private Hire Operator.
Hackney Carriage Vehicles may also work through Private Hire Operators, so that such vehicles may be dispatched to fulfill pre-booked journeys.
It is good practice that Hackney Carriage Operators (i.e. companies that only dispatch Hackney Carriage Vehicles) apply for a Private Hire Operator Licence in order that all pre-booked journeys that are received can be logged and recorded, in order to promote the objectives of public safety, and safeguarding.
Whilst the laws relating to Hackney Carriage Operators are yet to be brought into line with the demands of today's travelling public, in light of the need to promote a high level of public safety, passengers feel more at ease when they know that details of where they are being collected from and where they are being transported to, are recorded.
How to apply?
To apply you must complete the relevant application forms contained within the Private Hire Operator Application Pack, and for new applicants attend a pre-booked appointment with the Licensing Officer (please call us on 01623 457589 to book your appointment).
To renew an existing Private Hire Operator Licence you may submit your application to the Licensing Team by email: email@example.com
Full details of the application procedure for both new applicants and those renewing their licence can be found within the Operator Application Pack.
When the Licensing Authority assesses the suitability of applicants and existing licence holders, it will have regard to our Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy, and our Policy on Warnings, Offences, Cautions & Convictions.
The fees and charges applicable for a new applicant or for an existing Operator to renew his/her Licence can be found here. The Licensing Authority issues Operator Licences with a 5 year duration.
What happens next?
Once the completed application forms (including the Vehicle Declaration Form), fee and any necessary additional documentation has been received, the Council need to determine whether you are a 'fit and proper person' and whether the location you intend to use as the base is suitable.
You will be contacted by the Licensing Team once determination is complete.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions:
Will I need planning permission for my Operator Licence?
We recommend that you contact the Council's Planning Department who will confirm whether or not you need planning permission. The property you intend to use may require a 'change of use' through planning; depending on how many vehicles you intend to employ, the surrounding areas use (be it residential or commercial) and the use of signage and radio masts outside the property may affect a planning application.
Does my operating base have to be in the Council area?
Licences are issued to an individual/individuals or companies and relate specifically to the address of a licensed private hire office. The address from which you carry out your business as a Private Hire Operator should be within the Ashfield District especially if you are offering "waiting facilities" for your customers; however should you carry out your business outside of our District and do not offer "waiting facilities" but register a Private Hire Operator office within the District, we will consider your application on a case-by-case basis if it is deemed that we can adequately regulate your premises in such a way as to ensure the safety of the public, the good conduct of your business, and the promotion of high quality transport services for those who live in, work in, and visit the Ashfield District.
As an Operator, how should I run my business?
To operate you will require a telephone and / or electronic means to receive bookings, and you are required to maintain details of all of the bookings received (either in manual or electronic form), including any bookings you sub-contract to another Operator.
Details as to precisely what records must be kept can be found within the Application Pack.
You must be able to produce your records on request for inspection to any Authorised Officer on the Council or the Police.
Monitoring of drivers working hours
The Operator will monitor drivers working hours to ensure they are safe to transport the public. Although there is no legal framework for taxi drivers hours, it is incumbent upon the Operator to ensure drivers do not work excessive hours and that they are fit to drive and thus will not put the public at risk.
There are no direct controls over the hours that Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers can work. There are, however, limits applicable to drivers and crews of heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles.
The Licensing Authority deem that the number of hours worked by drivers can impact public safety and as a result seeks to promote the same limits, namely:
- An average of 48 hours per week calculated over a 17 week period normally;
- In any single week up to 60 hours providing the 48 hour limit is maintained;
- Night work is limited to 10 hours per night unless there is an agreement to work longer hours;
- Working between 6 and 9 hours per day requires breaks totalling 30 minutes. If more than 9 hours is worked then breaks must total 45 minutes. Breaks must be of at least 15 minutes in duration.
The Licensing Authority recommends that these requirements are used as a guideline to ensure drivers are fit to drive and that public safety remains paramount at all times.
Please contact the Licensing Team if you have any further questions.