Plans to introduce a county-wide policy for licensing taxis and hackney carriages in North Yorkshire are being drawn up ahead of a major change in local democracy.
Members of the council’s decision-making executive will meet next week to decide to launch a consultation on the hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy for the whole county.
The existing seven borough and district councils currently have their own hackney carriage and private hire licensing policies. But ahead of the launch of the new North Yorkshire Council, which will deliver all local services from April 1, 2023, the county council’s executive will be asked to endorse a consultation for the new policy.
A comprehensive review of the seven existing policies has been undertaken and although they have several factors in common, there are differences in terms of applicant criteria, vehicle specification and procedures.
It is proposed that the new council will operate one hackney carriage ‘zone’ for North Yorkshire. This will provide drivers with the flexibility to operate across the county, encouraging environmental efficiencies and creating a wider distribution of wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Councillor Derek Bastiman, executive member for open to business, said: “I would encourage anyone who drives or regularly uses taxis or private hire vehicles to take part in this consultation to help us shape the new hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy for North Yorkshire.”
He continued: “The policy plays an integral part in demonstrating the council’s commitment to ensuring that the public is provided with safe and accessible hackney carriages and private hire vehicles by the trade. And as a single local authority for North Yorkshire, it also ensures hackney carriage and private hire licence holders and taxi operators across the county are treated equally.”
The 12-week consultation will allow licence holders, taxi operators and the public to have the opportunity to share their views and help to shape the policy that will serve North Yorkshire Council.
There are no plans to impose hackney carriage quantity restrictions on the creation of a new single zone, and hackney carriage fares and fees will be reviewed at a later date.
If approved at the Tuesday, October 18 meeting, the consultation on the draft hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy for North Yorkshire will run from Tuesday, October 25, until Monday, January 16.