The BCP Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy was implemented on the 1 June 2021. This replaced the three polices of the previous legacy authorities.
The BCP Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Trade Association (BCP Trade) have made a request to amend the current BCP Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy 2021 in respect to
· increasing the initial maximum licensable age of non-wheelchair accessible vehicles which is currently 3.5 years.
· delay the date that all vehicles must meet the Euro 6 emission standard which is currently 31 December 2023.
The Interim Head of Safer Communities presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.
The purpose of the report was for the Licensing Committee to consider a request from the BCP Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Trade Association to amend the current BCP Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy 2021.
The Chair invited Mr David Lane to address the Committee on behalf of the Trade. Mr Lane explained the reasons for the Trade’s request as set out in the letter circulated at Appendix 1 of the report. In summary the Trade was proposing an amendment to increase the age of non-wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) at first licence for 3.5 years to 4.5 years to match the current WAV requirements. It was further proposing an amendment to the date by which all vehicles licenced by the Council would meet the Euro 6 emission standard from 31 December 2023 to either 31 August 2025 or 31 December 2024, the latter being same date for compliance with the new livery requirement.
The Committee noted that it had considered and rejected the Trade’s request to put back the Euro 6 deadline to December 2024 when last proposed in March 2022. Members had agreed at that time that the Euro 6 requirement needed to progress in line with the timescales agreed when the Policy was adopted. Having considered the request anew, Members saw no reason to change this stance and felt that it would be a retrograde step particularly in light of the Council’s declared climate and ecological emergency. It was noted that currently 30% of the fleet did not comply with Euro 6 and that there were now few vehicles licensed before the Policy came into effect affected by the livery requirement.
The Committee discussed whether maximum mileage when first licensed might be a more pertinent criteria than a vehicle’s age. The Interim Head of Safer Communities advised that this issue could be explored but would require further input from the Trade and any change would need to include WAVs. It was noted that any significant changes to the Policy would require a full report and period of consultation. Members also commented on the need to encourage more WAVs in the fleet, something which the Committee’s working party was seeking to address.
In conclusion the Committee did not consider any changes should be made to the Policy at the present time. The Committee agreed that the issues raised around the age and mileage of vehicles warranted a more in depth review and the Interim Head of Safer Communities advised that this could be taken forward initially by a discussion with the Trade before coming back to Committee.
RESOLVED that having considered the request for amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Policy the Committee agrees that no changes be made at the present time and that the policy is left ... view the full minutes text for item 59