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Taxi and Private Hire Information

Information about Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Licences

Taxis or hackney carriage and private hire vehicles are licensed to ensure that they are suitable and safe for the carriage of the public.

The legislation covering the two is quite different.  In brief, a taxi can stand on a rank, be flagged down in the street, or can be booked through one of the many licensed operators.  A private hire vehicle can accept pre-booked calls only, cannot rank and cannot be flagged down.  If a private hire driver does either of the latter two, you may find that not only do they commit an offence, but their insurance may be also be invalid.

Applicants must undergo a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check before they apply for a licence to drive either a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle.  Applicants have to complete the DBS application form in person and this form can only be obtained from Public Protection Services, Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness.

Licensed vehicles must be of a certain standard.  All vehicles must be tested prior to licensing and once licensed be tested twice a year at one of the Council's approved testing stations.  They must be clean, comfortable and carry safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

To apply for a taxi or private hire licence click here for application forms 

Link to Hackney Carriage Tariff (Fares)


Fitness of Applicants for Drivers Licenses

The Council has a duty to ensure that those licensed to drive hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are suitable persons to do so, and will wish to satisfy itself that applicants and licensed drivers are safe drivers with good driving records and adequate experience, sober, courteous, mentally and physically fit, honest and not persons who would take advantage of their employment to abuse or assault passengers.  Download the Fitness of Applicants for Drivers Licences Policy 

Vehicle Licensing Policy

The Council recognises both the needs of residents and the public at large to have access to safe, convenient and effective taxi services and the importance of this provision to the taxi trade and local economy. This document sets out the policy that the Council will apply when making decisions about new applications and licences currently in force. The policy sets out the normal requirements and standards that must be met. In exercising its discretion in carrying out its regulatory function, the Council will have regard to this policy document. This policy is currently under review.

Quantity Restriction on the number of Hackney Carriages. 

The Council, as licensing authority for hackney carriages, has a legal duty to commission independent periodic surveys of unmet demand for hackney carriages, usually at no more than three year intervals, so long as it wishes to restrict the number of hackney carriage licences issued.

Because the Government's Department for Transport has yet to implement the provisions of the Equalities Act 2010 relating to hackney carriages, and the current policy of the licensing authority to continue to restrict the numbers of hackney carriage licences issued, a further unmet demand survey was conducted on behalf of the licensing authority in the summer of 2015.

Vector Transport Consultancy's report on its survey into unmet demand within Barrow Council area was considered by the Licensing Regulatory Committee at its meeting on 12th November 2015 and a Quantity Control Policy was adopted by Council on the 22nd March 2016.

Hackney Carriage Unmet Demand Survey 2015 by Vector Transport Consultancy.

Subject to any changes in the law, guidance or policy in the interim, a further survey should be carried out in 3 years.

EU Services Directive 

Barrow Borough Council is part of a Europe-wide scheme which aims to break down barriers to cross border trade in services between countries in the EU.

The EU Services Directive has been brought in to make it easier for service providers, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, to offer their services to customers in all EU countries, whether establishing elsewhere in the EU or providing services remotely from the UK