Harlow Council launches taxi-check app

Harlow Council has launched a new license-checking smartphone app for local residents, to allow them to find out if a car is a properly licensed hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.

The application has been designed and developed for smartphones and tablets. It allows users to enter taxi registration numbers into the council website to confirm whether or not a taxi is fully licensed. QR codes are displayed at taxi ranks and licensed premises to assist users in accessing the website.

The website www.harlow.gov/uk/tcl automatically links to the council’s taxi licensing system, which then uses live data to bring up either a green tick, showing that the taxi or private hire vehicle is currently licensed; or a red cross, suggesting the vehicle is not licensed with the council. 

Developments in the near future will see the application include the make, model and colour of licensed taxi vehicles. Harlow Council officials said the “unique” service had proved to be a real success.

Councillor Ian Beckett, chair of Harlow Council’s licensing committee said: “We are using mobile phone technology to give residents and visitors the peace of mind that they are using a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle in Harlow. We are always working with local taxi and private hire companies to maintain high standards and this is another way of making people feel safe when travelling around the town.”

The service has been used by nearly 1,000 people since it was launched in June, and Harlow officials want other councils to adopt the system.

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