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TfL Announce Important Changes To Private Hire Regulations

TPH Notice 10/16  issued 17 June 2016

On 18 March 2016, we issued Notice 07/16, notifying you that the Transport for London (TfL) Board had approved new regulatory changes to raise standards in London’s private hire industry, improving safety and convenience for customers. The changes to the regulations will come into effect on Monday 27 June 2016 for new private hire licence applicants. More time has been allowed to existing licence holders to help them prepare for some of the more significant changes required. All existing licensees will be expected to comply by the dates set out in the tables below. It is vital that both existing licensees and new applicants (for private hire operator, driver, and vehicle licences), prepare now.

New requirements for Private Hire Vehicles

Vehicles must be covered by hire and reward insurance at the point they are licensed and for the entire time the vehicle is licensed, including when the vehicle is not in use as a private hire vehicle. Existing licensees are expected to comply by 11 July 2016. Details of the vehicle’s hire and reward insurance must be carried by the driver or displayed* in the vehicle at all times while the vehicle is licenced as a private hire vehicle. Licence holders will continue to be required to make insurance details available to the police or a TfL compliance officer. They are also expected to provide those details to a passenger upon request or a member of the public in the event of a collision.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 11 July 2016. *guidance on this regulation can be found at tfl.gov.uk/ph-regulations

Signs or advertising material must not be displayed from, in or on the vehicle unless the sign or material is exempt or has been approved by TfL.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 11 July 2016.

The private hire vehicle licence of a person whose private hire driver licence has been revoked will be considered for revocation depending on the individual circumstances.

New requirements for Private Hire Drivers

Private hire drivers will be required to carry a copy of the vehicle’s valid hire and reward insurance at all times. They will be required to provide evidence that they are insured to operate the vehicle under that policy (for example, under fleet insurance), and to make that evidence available to the police or a TfL compliance officer upon request. They would also be expected to provide it to a passenger upon request or a member of the public in the event of a collision.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 11 July 2016

All new applicants and existing private hire drivers applying for or renewing their licence will be required to meet a new English language requirement from 1 October 2016. This will not apply to people who are from a majority English speaking country. Details of this requirement will be provided in summer 2016.

From 1 October 2016, private hire drivers will be required to provide TfL with their National Insurance number when applying for or renewing their licence.

New Requirements for Private Hire Operators

Operators must provide a booking confirmation to a passenger before their journey starts. This must include the first name of the driver, their licence number, vehicle registration mark and – where the passenger can receive it – a photo of the driver.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 1 October 2016.

Operators must ensure that passengers are able to speak (verbally) to someone at their operating centre if they want to make a complaint or discuss any other matter about their booking. That service must be available at all times during the operator’s hours of business and at all times during a passenger’s journey. The operator should provide details to passengers of how they can speak to someone.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 1 October 2016.

Operators must inform TfL of any changes to the operating model of their business before they are made. This will help ensure that the changes are compliant with private hire legislation, in the interest of passenger safety.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 11 July 2016.

Operators must ensure that all staff who have face-to-face contact with the public (for example, in a minicab office that is open to the public) have, or have proof they have applied for, a Basic Disclosure check – available through Disclosure Scotland. This is in addition to the requirement for private hire drivers to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 1 October 2016.

From 11 July 2016, all operators will be required to email TfL details of the drivers and vehicles they have used to fulfil bookings, or have had available to them to fulfil bookings. TfL will contact each operator directly to confirm how this information should be provided, in what format, and for what time periods.

Operators must provide their customer with an accurate fare estimate before the journey starts (unless the fare has been pre-agreed).

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 1 October 2016

Operators must keep records for a minimum of 12 months. This includes records for bookings, complaints and lost property, as well as driver and vehicle records.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 11 July 2016

Operators must record the main destination of the customer’s journey, before the journey starts.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 1 October 2016.

Operators will be limited to having no more than five business names attached to their operator’s licence. Existing licensees affected by this change will be contacted by the licensing team.

Existing licensees are expected to comply by 1 October 2016.

From 1 October 2016, operators will be required to provide TfL with the relevant National Insurance details when applying for or renewing their licence.

In addition to the above, from 27 June 2016, TfL will no longer accept payment for licence fees by cheque or postal order. Licensing action will be taken in cases of non-compliance.

We will be writing to all existing private hire drivers, operators and registered keepers of private hire vehicle licences in the next week, to ensure this information has been received by all current licensees.

Further information on these changes is available at tfl.gov.uk/ph-regulations, and the information will be updated on certain requirements, such as the English language requirement, over the coming months.

We strongly advise licensees to monitor the website for updates. If you need further guidance having looked at the information on our website, please email us at tph.enquiries@tfl.gov.uk or call our licensing team on 0343 222 4444 (Monday to Friday, 08.00 – 18.00).

Helen Chapman, General Manager London Taxi and Private Hire.

For previous Notices visit tfl.gov.uk/tph

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