Taxi Liaison Group - 27/02/2003
At a MEETING of the TAXI LIAISON GROUP held at Dundee on Thursday, 27th February, 2003.
Members of Dundee City Council
Councillor George Regan
Councillor Jim Barrie
Councillor Dave Beattie
Councillor Andy Dawson
Representing the Dundee Taxi Association
Representing the TGWU
Representing Private Hire
Representing Tayside Police
Inspector Ray Dillon
Sergeant John Reekie
PC Alec Selfridge
Officers of Dundee City Council
Councillor Regan, Convener, in the Chair.
Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor Fiona Grant.
II ADVERTISING ON TAXI WHEEL HUBS
It was reported that a request had been received from Mac Media that the wheel hubs of taxis be used as an advertising medium.
The Group recommended that the wheel hubs of taxis be used for this purpose.
III TAXI DRIVER TRAINING - SVQ AWARD
There was tabled a copy letter from the Business Development Unit of Aberdeen College on the relaunch of the Top Taxi customised SVQ award for taxi drivers.
Following consideration of the content of the letter the Group recommended that a representative of Aberdeen College be invited to attend a future meeting of the Group to make a presentation on the course.
IV FARES AND FORMAT
On a reference to Article V of minute of meeting of 14th March, 2002 wherein it was agreed that the format for fares be examined. It was reported by the Roads and Transportation Manager that the format for taxi fares be consistent with that currently in place for other means of public transport.
Following discussion the Group recommended that the Roads and Transportation Manager produce a report for consideration of the next meeting of the Group on the various options available to the trade on methods of adjusting fares and formats which could be examined. It was further recommended that the Roads and Transportation Manager issue the report for consultation prior to the next meeting of the Group.
V TAXI TEST CENTRE FEES
The Group noted that there would be no further increase in the fee for taxi tests for the year 2003/2004.
VI TAXI FEES
The Group noted that, excluding the cost of the taxi survey, there would be no further increase in taxi licence and taxi driver's fees for the year 2003/2004 and that this would exclude the cost of the recent taxi survey which would be recharged.
VII TAXI RANK AT JACQUES, ESPLANADE
The Group was advised of the background to the taxi rank at Jacques, Esplanade and that this had been brought to attention following representation from residents.
After hearing the advice of a representative of Tayside Police the Group agreed that the rank be positioned on the opposite side of the road and that it be operated on evenings only.
VIII TAXI DRIVER'S LICENCE - CARRYING OF GUIDE DOGS AND HEARING DOGS (SCOTLAND)REGULATIONS 2002
On a reference to Article I(c) of minute of meeting of the Licensing Committee of 9th January, 2003, the Group was advised of implications for existing drivers with regard to the implementation of the new Regulations in relation to the carrying of guide dogs and hearing dogs. It was reported that where appropriate and on medical grounds, taxi drivers could apply for an exemption from the Regulations and that taxi drivers would be required to display notification of their exemption within the vehicle. The Group was also advised that the terms of the licence for current licence holders would have to be varied to accord with the legislative requirements.
(i)agreed that the requirements and implication of the new legislation and that exemptions were available, on medical grounds be noted; and
(ii)recommended that, the Visually Impaired Society be consulted in relation to the format for the display of exemption notification.
IX RENEWAL OF LICENCES
On a reference to Article III of minute of meeting of the Licensing Committee of 27th June, 2002, a representative of Dundee Taxi Association proposed that consideration be given to the adoption of the system for the renewal of licences operated by another local authority. In response to this proposal, the Group was reminded that it was for the licensing authority to implement any scheme in relation to the particular circumstances and policies of an individual authority and that a scheme operated in another Council may not be transferable to the requirements of Dundee City Council.
In this respect the position of Dundee City Council was explained in relation to the operation of the waiting list and it was proposed that consideration be given to the introduction of a renewal scheme on a three-yearly basis. Those drivers who wished to sign up to the scheme would be issued a letter at the beginning of April of each period of renewal reminding them to complete and return renewal application details to the Licensing Section and that the fee for participating in this voluntary scheme would be 30 for each licence holder for the duration of three years.
The Convener also voiced his concern about licence holders who did not advise the Licensing Section of their change of address or telephone numbers and the complications that this may cause and that every effort had been made by the Licensing Section to ensure that drivers renew their licence timeously.
The Group recommended that the renewal scheme be adopted as detailed.
X METER CHANGES
The Group noted that this matter had been covered during discussion of fares and format item.
XI COMPLAINTS ABOUT TYRES
A representative of Dundee Taxi Association reported on the issue of tyre specifications of spare wheels provided by car manufacturers and how these could impact on the taxi test operated by the Council. The Plant and Vehicle Officer, in response, reiterated that it was the responsibility of each taxi licence holder to ensure that when a car was submitted for a taxi test that the fifth wheel was of the same dimensions and specification as was present on the other four operational wheels of the car.
There was discussion about the ongoing trend of car manufacturers that the spare wheel provided may be of a different size or dimension to that of the other four operational wheels of the car and that this may be jeopardizing public safety.
(i)agreed that the requirement when a taxi was submitted for test that the fifth wheel be of the same size and dimension as the other four operational wheels be noted; and
(ii)recommended that the Ministry of Transport be contacted in relation to car manufacturers specifications and that their advice be sought on the matter and that their response be reported to the next meeting of the Group.
XII CABS ENFORCEMENT UNIT AND RANKS
A representative of Dundee Taxi Association raised the issue of road markings at the Hilltown rank.
Following discussion the Group noted that Tayside Police would look at the issue of road markings at the Hilltown rank and that the Plant and Vehicle Officer would produce a report about ranks for consideration of the next meeting of the Group.
XIII CORPORATE LICENCES
A representative of the TGWU raised the issue of the provision and application for corporate licences.
In response to this request the Group was advised that currently licences were considered for grant in date order on the waiting list in the name provided by the applicant and that if this name was to be altered in any way the application would have to be resubmitted.
The Group noted the position and that a full report would be submitted to the next meeting of the group explaining the various issues relating to corporate licences.
XIV CAB ENFORCEMENT SUPPORT UNIT - ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT
It was also reported that in response to requests from the taxi trade that additional administrative support be provided at the Cab Enforcement Support Unit, that the police had examined this request and that they proposed to provide administrative support to the Cab Enforcement Officer five days a week and that this Administrative Officer would be based at the Cab Enforcement Support Unit.
The cost of providing this administrative support would mean an additional 5 being placed on the cost of a taxi licence and 5 on the cost of a taxi driver's licence. A representative of Tayside Police explained the role and the duties which the administrative support would provide.
The Group recommended that an additional 5 be levied on the taxi driver and taxi licence fees to provide administrative support at the Cab Enforcement Office Support Unit.
XV MOT CHECKS
A representative of Dundee Taxi Association raised the issue of MOT checks for taxis and the position of licence holders with regard to other certification which was available.
The Cab Enforcement Officer and the Plant and Vehicle Officer advised the Group on the requirements as outlined in the Road Traffic Act and the legislative requirements of the licensing authority for a vehicle operated as a taxi.
Following discussion the Group agreed:-
(i) to note the position, and
(ii)that the Plant and Vehicle Officer submit a report to the next meeting of the Group on this matter including details of research and issues concerning painterwork defects to vehicles.
XVI FOULING OF TAXIS
The Group noted that the Legal Officer would submit a report to the next meeting of the Group on advice received from the Procurator Fiscal concerning fouling of taxis.
XVII TAXI TEST - REVISED CRITERIA
A representative of Private Hire raised the issue of revised criteria for the Taxi Test, the Cab Enforcement Officer explained that the test did not contain any matters which were not already required by legislation and that full details of the test requirements including sample questions, were as detailed on the application form for taxi tests.
The Group agreed that members of the Taxi Trade report back to the next meeting of the Group on the content of the Taxi Test.
GEORGE REGAN, Convener.