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Gloucestershire Business News

Have your say on the way taxis operate in Cheltenham

A chance to have your say on how taxis should be regulated in Cheltenham has been announced by the borough council.

A consultation on amendments to its taxi and private hire licensing policy is calling for comments from the public about several proposed changes.

These include vehicle emissions, driver conduct, regulated working hours and a new equalities regulation for disabled taxi users.

Taxis are public hire vehicles that can work off taxi ranks and be hailed. In contracts, private hire vehicles can only undertake pre-booked journeys working for a licensed operator.

The proposed amended policy document suggests a number of changes to the current document that was adopted in 2014. The main proposed changes include:

1. Improving vehicle emission standards for all licensed vehicles

2. Introducing a 'three strikes' policy relating to the conduct of licensed drivers and associated sanctions

3. Bringing in measures to regulate working hours for licensed drivers in the interest of public safety

4. Measures to help address the increasing problem of vehicles licensed elsewhere but working in Cheltenham

5. Improved vehicle fitness standards particularly in relation to taxis; and

6. A new equalities legislation in relation to duties places on drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: "We have started a consultation on important changes to our current policy regulating the taxi and private hire trade in Cheltenham.

"This policy affects a lot of people not least the licensed trade, but also every person who has, or will in the future, take a journey in a taxi or private hire car licensed by this council. It is an important policy that ensures the safety and protection of the travelling public.

"I would encourage anybody with an interest to comment on the consultation to ensure that we have a wide range of views on issues relevant to the taxi and private hire trade."

More information on the consultation including how to respond can be found on the council's website at www.cheltenham.gov.uk/taxipolicyreview.

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