Taxi Licence Changes in Nottingham?
Taxi drivers that are licenced by Nottingham City could be at risk of having their badges revoked or suspended if Council plans for the taxi licence are introduced. The plans are currently delayed following disagreement over the penalty points system.
Nottingham City Council is considering introducing a “Driver Improvement Penalty Point Scheme” for taxi drivers. The scheme proposes the imposition of penalty points on taxi drivers for a variety of breaches of taxi licence conditions. The points range from four to six, depending on the breach. If a driver gets twelve points within a three year period, action will be taken, including suspending and revoking the taxi licence. This means that for two relatively minor incidents, a taxi driver could face losing his badge, and with it, his livelihood.
Some of the breaches could also amount to driving offences. The points imposed by the City Council on the driver’s taxi record would be separate from any points put on their Driving Licence as a result of a fixed penalty notice or prosecution for the same offence.
The table of breaches and points is below.
|Failure to use Taxi Meter for journeys within prescribed distance||4|
|Refusal to accept hiring without reasonable cause||4|
|Failure to display driver badge and/or wear identification badge||4|
|Driving a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition||6|
|Parking a vehicle in contravention of parking restrictions||4|
|Failure to display signs or plates correctly, or displaying unauthorised signs||4|
|Obstruction / failure to comply with reasonable request made by Authorised Officers or Police Officers||6|
|Failure to convey passengers in a safe and responsible manner||6|
|Unacceptable behaviour towards members of public, Authorised Officers or Police Officers||6|
|Failure to comply with any other Nottingham City Council combined drivers and vehicle licence condition not included above||4|
Nottingham City Council say that this scheme would have the effect of improving driving standards. Whether or not this is correct, or necessary, the scheme would inevitably have the effect of causing many more drivers to face the prospect of losing their taxi badges and their livelihoods, either for a period of suspension, or permanently.
Other ideas being considered by Nottingham City Council include the restriction of granting licences to potential taxi drivers with driving offences on their record and temporary licence suspensions for taxis entering restricted streets.
In addition to the proposed Driver Improvement Penalty Point Scheme, taxi licensing authorities can suspend or revoke taxi licences for a variety of reasons. The test used is whether the driver is a “fit and proper person”. A council may decide that a driver is not a fit and proper person based on their driving record, other criminal offences or for any other reason.
Anyone who is informed that their taxi licence is to be suspended or revoked by a taxi licencing authority has the right to appeal against that decision to the Magistrates Court. Once a Notice of Appeal is lodged at the court, the taxi driver can continue to drive while awaiting the appeal hearing. In Nottingham, it usually takes about 3 months from making the appeal until the final appeal hearing.
If you are facing a suspension or revocation of your taxi licence, we can help by advising you on the merits of an appeal and our experienced solicitors can represent you at the appeal hearing.