Just 10 days to have your say on how taxis are policed in Preston
The public have just 10 days to have their say on tough new rules over how taxis should be policed in Preston.
A public consultation exercise, launched by the city council on September 8, is due to end a week on Friday (October 22) before the authority publishes its taxi policy for the next five years.
Sweeping changes have been made to the rules on how the 187 black cabs and 650 private hire vehicles can operate in a continuing bid to keep passengers and drivers safe.
Among the changes are the ending of probationary shorter licences issued to cabbies, mandatory subscription to the DBS Update Service for all licensed drivers and annual DBS checks for private hire operators.
Taxi companies will be required to have improved "staying safe" guidance for passengers and all licence holders will be required to notify the council within 48 hours of an arrest and release, charge or conviction for any sexual offence, any offence involving dishonesty or violence and any motoring offence.
"The overarching aim of the taxi and private hire licensing regime is to protect the public by ensuring that all drivers, vehicles and operators are licensed and regulated by the local licensing authority," says a report to be presented to the council's taxi and miscellaneous committee tomorrow.
Preston' s black cab numbers are restricted to 187, but the council licences around 300 drivers as well as around 660 private hire drivers from 39 operators in the city.
The council issues licences to all black cab and private hire vehicles for a maximum of six months, meaning taxis all undergo examinations and tests twice a year to ensure they are safe to be on the road.
"This authority is satisfied that licensed vehicles operating within its area are safe to do so and it believes that the inspection and testing of licensed vehicles twice a year provides that assurance," says the report.
"Safeguarding is at the heart of this policy. Procedures and practices, including licence conditions and enforcement reflect the importance of safeguarding and will seek to promote the welfare of children, vulnerable people, passengers in general and licensed drivers."
To have your say on taxi licensing go to the Preston Council website: https://www.preston.gov.uk/taxilicensingpolicyconsultation Or you can email the authority at: [email protected] .