Taxi Liaison Group - 09/06/2015

At a MEETING of the TAXI LIAISON GROUP held at Dundee on 9th June, 2015.






Stuart GALLOWAY, Principal General Services Officer, Support Services Department

Brian WOODCOCK, Senior Solicitor, Licensing, Support Services Department

Fraser CRICHTON, City Development Department




Steve CASHLEY, Dundee 505050

David YOUNG, Dundee Private Hire (203020) Ltd

Graeme STEPHEN, Dundee Taxi Association

George HARRIS, Tay Taxis

Willie LEES, GMB

Chris ELDER, Unite the Union




Cammy FORBES (Constable)




Geraldine BARFOUR, SQA

Councillor Jimmy BLACK

Councillor Tom FERGUSON


Stuart GALLOWAY, in the Chair.




The minute of meeting of the Taxi Liaison Group held on 11th March, 2015 was submitted and noted for information and record purposes.




CCTV in taxis - Chris Elder reported that he would wish to take further discussion with his members on this particular matter and that he would make his position known and of his members at the meeting to be held on 2nd October, 2015.




Items on agenda at request of Dundee City Council:-




Geraldine Balfour of SQA explained the evaluation of courses undertaken by the SQA and provided within Dundee for the training of taxi drivers.


The Group noted that the SQA were satisfied with the competency of the courses being provided within Dundee at Dundee College and also noted the action which may be taken by office within Dundee to encourage the participation of drivers in training courses.




(i) Breakdown of income/expenditure.


The Group noted the content of the tabular information tabled by Stuart Galloway providing a breakdown of income and expenditure.


(ii) Testing of Angus Taxis


The Group noted that the testing of Angus Taxis was progressing and was not revealing any issues and that the fail rate of the condition of the vehicle was minimal in comparison to that of those vehicles presented for testing by Dundee licence holders and that, as such, the condition of vehicles may be reported to the Committee for their consideration.


(iii) Agenda and minutes of the Group


The Group noted that dates of meetings would be agreed in advance to allow more time for Trade representatives to discuss submissions with their members.


(iv) Drop-off zones in the Nethergate area - progress


The Group noted the position in relation to dropping-off passengers and, in particular, issues in relation to the Nethergate area in relation to drop-offs and also traffic light sequencing delays which had been incurred in the early morning which would be investigated as this had incurred additional costs to passengers.


(v) Extension to the Caird Avenue taxi rank


The Group noted that the bus stop had been deemed surplus and may now be allocated for rank space and that wardens would be advised accordingly and that the clearway sign would be removed.


(vi) Access to accident and emergency unit at Ninewells through bus lane


The Group noted that access was only suitable for buses and that the restriction on this would not be removed.


(vii) Changing of lane markings at St Andrew's Street


The Group noted that lane markings would be remarked during 2015.


(viii) Insurance replacement taxi concerns by the Trade


The Group noted that this matter would be examined by Stuart Galloway and would try to identify any options available to the Council in this particular regard.


(ix) SVQ Course guidelines


The Group noted that this matter was covered earlier in the agenda.




The Group noted that the number of licences currently in operation in Dundee was at 607 and that Halcrow Fox would likely be engaged to undertake a full survey on demand.




The Group noted that 170 applications had been submitted using the online renewal process.




A representative from the NHS was unable to attend to speak to this item, so this would be discussed at a future meeting of the Group.




Items on agenda at request of Police Scotland (Tayside Division):-


(a) The practice of drivers leaving keys in the visor for the next shift


The Group noted there had been a number of reported break-ins and thefts in relation to taxis as many drivers had been leaving their keys in their visor for the replacement driver and that this was evidenced as being noticed by criminals. The Trade were encouraged to advise their members to discontinue this practice in the interest of crime prevention.


(b) Complaint 723 - Problems at Dundee Airport


The Group noted that following on from the extreme bad weather in March, 2015 which saw air traffic being diverted from Aberdeen Airport to Dundee Airport that a number of complaints had been received in relation to the alleged conduct of drivers towards travelling public obtaining taxis at the airport who were seeking to travel locally within Dundee and not to go to Aberdeen.




Items on agenda at request of Dundee Hackney Association:-


(a) We understand that there will be incentives for WAV operators who put on electric hybrid or other similar type vehicles. Can we have an update please?


The Group noted that this matter had been covered elsewhere on the agenda.


(b) WAV operators feel that they have been left out of any meetings or consultations regarding the 60/40 split policy the Council are proposing and would require to have talks with Council leaders.


The Group noted that this matter would be explained again during the future development of policy.




Items on agenda at request of Dundee Taxi Association:-


(a) Left hand drive London taxis


The Group agreed that left hand drive London taxis operation within Dundee not be supported for safety reasons in relation to passenger safety, loading luggage from the roadside and also safety of wheelchair passengers entering and exiting vehicles.


(b) Hilltown Taxi rank cars/vans parking. Sign at Whitehall Crescent rank


The Group noted that Neil Gellatly would examine this particular matter and arrange for appropriate information to be displayed and that he would consult with the Planning Department on this.


(c) Can we have update on test fees for 2nd and 3rd tests?


The Group noted that Stuart Galloway would look at this matter and provide a report to the next meeting of the Group.


(d) Company licence for all but with a few conditions attached.


The Group noted that this proposal would be examined by Stuart Galloway in relation to criteria for corporate plates as part of the development of policy.


(e) Whats happening about Taxi Marshalls?


The Group noted that this item would be continued to the next meeting of the Group.


(f) Update on position of Cab Officers?


The Group noted that there was funding up until March, 2016 and that legislation was placing a duty on the Council to provide Civic Licensing Standard Officers who may then undertake duties provided by the cab officers. Further information would be provided by Stuart Galloway in due course.


(g) One Cab Officer is retiring will he be replaced and if not do Council plan to take over the job or part of it?


The Group noted that this matter was covered earlier in the agenda.


(h) Update on SVQ.


The Group noted that this matter was covered earlier in the agenda.


(i) Electric car charging points.


The Group noted the update by Fraser Crichton on potential Government Grant Aid which may be available for the promotion of the use of electric cars and the installation of additional infrastructure.


(j) When will we get breakdown on costs?


The Group noted that this matter was covered earlier in the agenda.




Items on agenda at request of Unite the Union:-


(a) UNITE the Union taxi members were asking the Licensing Committee for a corporate/company operators licence, ie a variation to their current taxi licence without having to put on an electric vehicle.


The Group noted that this proposal would be examined as part of the future development of taxi licence policy.


(b) It is regarding the way school contracts are issued to drivers without escorts in some of the school contracts and this is leaving drivers and children at risk.


The Group noted that Neil Gellatly would discuss this matter further with the Education Department and the Risk Assessment Team.


(c) At a the taxi national Unite meeting in Birmingham there was an advertising company looking to advertise on the tx range of taxis working in partnership with unite taxi branches throughout the country they are using this advertising method which is a screen fitted to the roof of the tx taxi would it be possible for me to arrange for the companys reps to do a presentation i.e. bring the taxi up to Dundee to let yourself and the Committee see exactly what it is as this would benefit the taxi driver financially and help with paying for his taxi.


The Group noted that a demonstration would hopefully be provided at a future meeting.




(a) Electric cars start now on saloons new cars at next meeting of Council


The Group noted that this proposal would be examined as part of the future development of Taxi Licence policy.


(b) Medical for drivers. At certain age a medical should be introduced


The Group noted that this matter would be given consideration by Stuart Galloway.





Stuart GALLOWAY, Chair.