Card payments for journeys
We’ve recently received an enquiry around adding surcharges to payments made via card.
Please be advised this is not allowed. Businesses are not permitted to impose surcharges for paying by debit card, credit card or electronic payment services. This leaflet provides further information.
The Government have acknowledged that the hackney carriage and private hire sector is playing a really important part in transporting critical workers and that ‘compliance and enforcement activity should continue where this is to maintain public safety’.
With this directive in mind the licensing team will be working with GMP carrying out spot checks on hackney carriage and private hire vehicles in the Borough. The first spot check operations will taking place in March and are aimed at ensuring safety standards to ensure the safety of drivers and the travelling public.
Checks will be made on vehicles to ensure they are complying with the Council’s vehicle test criteria and conditions of licence https://www.bolton.gov.uk/downloads/download/317/taxis-and-private-hire-licensing Vehicles which fail for serious safety issues for example mechanical faults where a vehicle would fail the MOT, unsecure data, damaged or illegal tyres and inoperable lights will have the licence suspended. Your vehicle will then be off the road and switched off at the operator until the faults are corrected. Advisory notices will be issued for more minor faults for example missing or damaged livery and these which must be rectified within 10 days.
We want to work with the trade to improve standards in the Borough and you can do your part by ensuring you carry out regular safety checks of your vehicle including:
- All lights are working and replacing faulty bulbs.
- Fire extinguishers haven’t expired and are securely fastened.
- Livery and plates displayed as required.
- Radios and are data heads secure.
- Seat belts are working.
- Tyres are within the legal tread limit, inflated and check for cuts, bulges or cords exposed.
- Your vehicle is clean inside and outside.
You must also ensure you wear your private hire or hackney carriage driver badge at all times whilst working. It is an offence not to wear this in a way that it is plainly and distinctly visible
Asymptomatic testing for ‘critical workers’ who cannot work from home
Please find attached correspondence from Public Health in relation to asymptomatic testing for ‘critical workers’ who cannot work from home.
Further information about the testing programme can be found in the FAQs here – www.bolton.gov.uk/testingmanagers and additional information about the Coronavirus can be found here: www.bolton.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-1
Passengers must wear a face covering in a taxi or PHV, unless they are exempt. You can refuse to take a passenger if they are not wearing a face covering and they are not exempt however passengers do not have to provide proof that they are exempt.
You do not have to wear a face covering, unless your operator requires it, but we highly recommend that you do if it does not affect your ability to drive safely. You may need to remove your face covering in order to communicate with passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
You should ask passengers to sit as far from you as possible or put a mark where you would like them to sit. Where possible they should not sit in the front of the vehicle.
Open windows when carrying passengers and/or use the car’s vents to bring in fresh air from outside. You should not use the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation system when carrying passengers.
Screens in vehicles
In response to the continued Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department for Transport has developed ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): safety screens for taxis and PHVs Guidance’ for the safe and appropriate fitting of separating screens between the front and rear of a taxi or private hire vehicle. The guidance has been published today and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safety-screens-for-taxis-and-phvs/coronavirus-covid-19-safety-screens-for-taxis-and-phvs
The installation of screens is one mitigation to prevent the transmission of the Coivid-19 virus from driver to passenger and vice-versa.
The guidance forms part of the Department for Transport’s Vehicle Safety Standards Information Sheets series.
Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle proprietors are asked to be mindful of this guidance before installation of any screens and/or panels.