- 19 April 2023
We are writing to all licensed private hire drivers regarding issues that have been raised following private hire vehicles stopping in inappropriate locations when picking up/dropping off passengers.
In particular the hackney carriage ranks on Bradshawgate, the train station and Le Mans Crescent.
Private hire vehicles must never stop or wait in hackney ranks, or the driver will be subject to a Penalty Charge Notice and potentially licensing action.
- Hackney carriages are entitled to use hackney ranks around the borough, where they can sit and wait for a fare. Private hire vehicles cannot use ranks.
- Hackney carriages can be hailed, or flagged down, anywhere in the borough. Private hire vehicles must be booked in advance through a licensed operator.
Hackney carriage and private hire drivers can stop to pick up or drop off customers in many areas where there are waiting or stopping restrictions. Drivers should be aware that:
- Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles can only stop as long as is necessary for the customer to get in or out of the vehicle. This includes more time to assist wheelchair users and to make sure that the wheelchair is in the right position and safely secured.
- Drivers should not stop where they would cause an obstruction or a safety hazard. This includes stopping on zigzag lines (for example, by pedestrian crossings or on school crossings) or where there is a 'No Stopping' sign.
- Private hire vehicles must never stop on hackney ranks, even when picking up or setting down customers.
- If there are waiting or parking restrictions, drivers cannot stop for longer than necessary for the customer to get in or out of the vehicle.
- When not picking up or dropping off, a driver waiting at a time and place where restrictions apply will be liable to receive a Penalty Charge Notice. This applies even if the vehicle has arrived early for a booking or the customer is late, or where a customer asks a driver to stop and wait while they visit a shop or use a cashpoint.
- Hackney carriage and private hire drivers should not leave their engines idling. Running the engine while your vehicle is stationary pollutes the environment and is illegal on a public road.
Drivers should be familiar with the area in which they work and should, therefore, be able to advise customers of places where they can stop and wait if necessary.
If a customer asks a driver to wait/stop where this is prohibited, the driver should explain politely that the vehicle cannot wait/stop in certain places. If possible, the driver should suggest alternative stops as appropriate.
We appreciate that these issues can lead to disagreements between drivers and customers and understand the difficulties this causes, but appreciate your assistance in ensuring this guidance is adhered to.