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Taxi and Private Hire Licensing FAQs

What is the difference between a taxi and a private hire vehicle?

Taxis, more properly called 'hackney carriages', can be hailed in the street or from a taxi rank. They have a 'taxi' roof sign and a black and white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.

Hackney carriage vehicle

Hackney carriage vehicle

Hackney carriage vehicle

Hackney carriage vehicle

Private hire vehicles (sometimes known as minicabs), must be pre-booked - by phone/app, or in person at the operator's office. They have a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. They will also display a yellow sticker on the rear door. These vehicles do not have a roof sign, but they sometimes have signs showing the company's name and phone number.

Private hire vehicle.

Private hire vehicle

Private hire vehicles.

Private hire vehicle

Taxi and private hire fares

How are taxi and private hire fares calculated?

All hackney carriages (taxis) are fitted with taxi meters. These calculate the fare based on the distance travelled and any 'waiting time' which includes time when the taxi is stopped in traffic. Different fare tariffs apply at different times of the day and Sundays and Bank Holidays. The tariff and charges are displayed inside the taxi.

Download the current fare table applied to Telford & Wrekin Council's Hackney Carriage Vehicles.

How does the Council make sure that taxi meters are accurate?

All taxi meters are tested by the Council's Licensing team on a special measured route to check that they are calibrated correctly and have the right fare tariff programmed. The meters are sealed by the Council to show that they have been tested and to prevent tampering.

The Council cannot set private hire fares and therefore, you should agree a fare (or rate per mile) with the operator when booking the journey.

What should I do if I think I've been overcharged?

Remember that the fare charged will vary depending on the time of day and the day of the week. The same journey will cost more in the evening or on a Sunday/Bank Holiday than during a normal weekday. The fare will also be higher if you are held up in a traffic jam or stop at traffic lights.

If the taxi takes a different route to avoid a known hold-up this can make the journey longer but it may still work out cheaper than if you had sat in traffic, clocking up 'waiting time'.

Having taken these things into consideration, if you think that you have been overcharged and are unable to resolve the issue with the driver/company, please complete our enquiry form

What does the Council do to ensure that taxi and private hire drivers are suitable?

All drivers have to complete or pass the following checks or tests.

  • Enhanced Criminal Record Check which includes checks on the Adult and Children’s Barred Lists.
  • Overseas Criminal Record Check.
  • Driving Record with the DVLA.
  • Overseas Driving Record.
  • Telford & Wrekin Council Driving Test.
  • Telford & Wrekin Council Driver Awareness Training which includes Child Exploitation, County Lines, Transporting Children, Disability Awareness and Council licence conditions.
  • Written Knowledge Test on the subjects covered in the Driver Awareness Training.
  • Right to Work Check.
  • Medical Assessment to Group 2 Standards.

All Telford & Wrekin Council licensed drivers are required to wear their unique driver badge identification. This will display a photograph of the driver, the licence number and the expiry date of the licence.

Taxi and private hire licence

The Council also sets standards of behaviour through its Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

Did you have a concern in your taxi? Did the driver badge not match the actual driver? If so, why not let us know. Complete our complaint form.

How do I make a complaint about the behaviour of my driver?

If you were the hirer or passenger in a taxi or private hire vehicle and have a complaint about the conduct of the driver and are unable to resolve the issue with the driver/company, please complete our enquiry form.

Taxi ranks

Download a list of the borough's designated taxi ranks.

The hackney carriage stands are there to provide local transportation and it is important that they are kept clear for taxis to use. 

It is an offence for other vehicles to park or wait on a designated hackney carriage stand. 

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

The Council licences wheelchair accessible hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.

This list has been designated for the purpose of section 165 of the Equalities Act 2010.

Members of the public can complete our complaints form for any refusal to carry a wheelchair chair or email licensing@telford.gov.uk.

Licensed vehicles from outside the area

Members of the public may find that they book a vehicle that is licensed by a neighbouring licensing authority. It is important to note that any complaints relating to the conduct or behaviour of a driver; or the suitability of that licensed vehicle, must be directed to the relevant authority.

For example:

CCTV in Taxi's

Telford & Wrekin Council operates a voluntary CCTV scheme that allows licensed vehicle proprietors to install approved CCTV in their vehicle.

What’s the purpose of CCTV in Taxi’s?

  • To seek to safeguard vulnerable passengers.
  • To provide assurance to drivers to protect them from unjustified allegations.
  • To try to prevent and detect crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
  • To reduce both the real and perceived level of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
  • To provide reassurance to law abiding citizens by the legal and effective use of CCTV.
  • To assist in the apprehension and prosecution of offenders.
  • To support the detection of offences and to provide evidential material for court proceedings.
  • To gather evidence by a fair and accountable method.

How will I know my taxi has CCTV?

All Taxi’s fitted with CCTV have to display a visible sign on the outside of the vehicle and an interior sign stating the following information:

  • the purposes of the scheme 
  • the name of the Data Controller
  • the Data Controller’s contact telephone number 
  • that it includes audio by the activation of an emergency audio button
  • direction to the Council’s privacy notice.

Who can see the images the CCTV unit records?

Only the data controller can view the images. Telford & Wrekin Council are the data controller for all CCTV units fitted in their licensed vehicles. Only approved Licensing Officers will have access of to the images. Images will only be downloaded for authorised purposes only.

Is somebody watching the images when I am in the taxi?

No, the images can not be viewed live in real time. The images will have to be downloaded from the sealed unit in the vehicle by the Council’s Licensing Officers.

Will my conversations be recorded?

No, the CCTV only records images unless you or the driver press the panic button and the conversation will then be recorded for 3 minutes.

How do I access my own images?

You can make a subject access request to the council by viewing our General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) page.

Last updated: 18/01/2024 09:29