Taxi and Private Hire Latest News

This page will be regularly updated with information for taxi and private hire trades in Mendip.

Please let us know of any news or events that you believe should be highlighted by emailing licensing@mendip.gov.uk.

When we need to inform you of changes in service/legislation, news or events we will text you, please ensure you tell the Licensing team of changes to your mobile number by emailing:  licensing@mendip.gov.uk.

MOT & VSI Testing Resuming from 1st August

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1st August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted as announced on the 29th June 2020.

All drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for a MOT test from 1st August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

Drivers with a MOT due date before 1st August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement.

The announcement: www.gov.uk/government/news/mandatory-mot-testing-to-be-reintroduced-from-1-august

As the VSI tests (previously engineers reports) were extended in line with the MOT, all operators whose car is due for a VSI test from 1st August 2020 will be required to get a VSI certificate to continue driving their vehicle. Vehicles with a VSI due date before 1st August 2020 will still be entitled to the 6 month extension.

Safeguarding Training

Following the recent Licensing Board meeting which took place virtually on Wednesday 10th June 2020 it was voted that safeguarding training will be mandatory for all drivers and they have a year to complete it. It will also be a requirement for all new applicants to complete the training before they are issued a licence.

We are looking to roll it out as online training as soon as possible and then for drivers who are unable to complete the training online, there will be socially distanced training delivered in groups in person. There is no cost for the training.

Any driver who fails to complete the training within the year time limit will have their licence suspended.

There will be more information provided shortly as we look to finalise the training package and begin to roll it out.

Department for Transport - Guidance for Taxis

Guidance has been published by Department of Transport, the document can be viewed Icon for pdf here. [374.96KB]

Update to Taxi & Private Hire Policy - Emergency Measures COVID-19

Vehicle Suitability Inspections

MDC are suspending the requirements for a Mendip Vehicle Suitability Inspection for Hackney Carriages & Private Hire Vehicles in line with the current Department of Transport decision for MOT testing.

From 1st April 2020 any Mendip Vehicle Suitable Inspection expiring beyond that date will now be extended for 6 months. This suspension shall remain in place until such time as Mendip District Council reverses its decision.

Drivers are advised that they must make sure their vehicle is safe to drive ('roadworthy') and be mindful that the vehicle can be unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended.

Driver Medicals

MDC are suspending the requirements for a Driver medical due to the pressure put on medical services during this pandemic. From 1st April 2020 any medical requirements to renew a licenced driver's dual licence will now be extended for 6 months. This suspension shall remain in place until such time as Mendip District Council reverses its decision.

Drivers are advised that they must not drive if they suspect or have been advised that they are unfit to do so. See health conditions that effect your ability to drive - https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving

For anyone wishing to read the full report:  Icon for pdf Download Emergency Measures - Amendments to Taxi Policy + LD Final [89.0KB]

Licence Deferment

Vehicle licence renewals may be deferred during the current restrictions if the vehicle is not going to be used as a licenced vehicle during this period. To take advantage of this please return your renewal application, requesting a deferment to licensing@mendip.gov.uk

A deferment form will then be emailed to you to complete and the renewal application will be suspended. This can be re-activated at any stage in the future and on receipt of the completed application we will endeavour to issue your plate within 4 working day.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Information relating to the above scheme can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme there is useful information which hopefully can support a number of our licensed drivers in these tough times.

COVID-19 Update for Licensed Drivers

Information from the Institute of Licensing can be found on the below link, this offers guidance to drivers on refusing fares if you believe a potential customer has any symptoms relating to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Licensing issues - Can Hackney carriage and private hire drivers refuse to carry certain passengers through fear of infection?

Mendip District Council 

The offices have been closed and therefore officers will be working remotely. All calls to the duty number are going through to the contact centre who will take messages and pass onto officers to call back. We will endeavour to keep all drivers up to date as possible, in this period of time we will utilise the text system, if you know of any drivers who do not receive the texts please advise them of the benefits and request they provide us with a mobile number.

Renewals for vehicles and drivers will still be processed as normal, if you decide you do not want to licence your vehicle in this current climate you can apply for a new application once you decide to return to work. We advise applicants to submit paperwork in good time to ensure you remain licensed.

New Driver Applications

We have taken the decision to suspend new driver applications, this is a result of part of the process involving a face to face meeting.

Survey

Please can drivers complete the survey:

Taxi Drivers Survey, March 2020

This will allow us to proceed with the taxi rep's which at a time like this would be very useful to utilise. We would also like to see how drivers have been affected by the current situation.