Important message from Bill - please read this:
HIGH PEAK PRIVATE HIRE LICENSING
On the 1st August 2016 High Peak Council issued a consultation document on their proposals for changes to the licensing regime that they have in place. The link is XXXXXXXXXXX for you to visit the web site and view the proposals.
The period for consultation is six weeks, and submissions must be made by the 12th September 2016.
We are extremely disappointed in the attitude of the council in so much that they will not enter in to an open meeting with our members to discuss their proposals at a public meeting hosted by the NLCA. We are also concerned that at a time where the input of the existing licensing team is of great import we find that they are both “Not available” or “On holiday”. This must beg the question, where are they and what has happened? There is no one to answer the telephone, process applications for drivers, make changes to existing operator’s vehicles and so on. We have always had marvellous co operation from Paul Jackson and Lisa Smart as two of the best licensing officers we have come across in the whole country. So what has happened ? is there an embargo on contacting them? Are they on gardening leave? And so on. Only time will tell. We will keep you informed as and when things become clearer.
On to the proposals, all XXX pages of them. Once you have got through the overkill it boils down to the following main areas of concern
Recent Meeting Notes
The National Limousine and Chauffeur Association held on Thursday the 11th September 2014 at the Brig in Altofts and present as our principal guest was Mr Paul Jackson, the licensing officer for High Peaks District Council.
The main points of the meeting are catalogued below
The Law Commission report into taxi and private hire reform is now well and truly amongst us and subject to fine tuning looks as if it will be presented to Parliament for adoption. There are a number of key issues, and rather than try to explain all 298 pages of the report, we will confine ourselves to a precis of he most important ones that will affect our members.
All vehicles of up to eight passenger seats will be licensed by the local authority if they are used for hire and reward. Standards and rules will be unified throughout the country and there will no longer be the great disparity between councils. It looks as if all American stretched limousines will eventually have to go down this route, BUT there will have to be changes to both the PSV rules and also the numerous Transport acts before this can be applied
Vehicles of sixteen passenger seats are to be given the option to register either as PSV vehicles as they currently are, or to go under the Private Hire regime. Although there is one disturbing element under proposal 26 That ALL limousines and novelty vehicles (party buses etc) MUST be under private hire. I cannot see for the life of me why this should be unless they are panicking that PSV drivers do not have to have a DSB (CRB) check and all Private hire drivers do? Surely the answer is to add DSB checks to all PSV drivers? This is definitely long overdue. We then have the added problem of the larger novelty vehicles (currently up to 50 seats) and the European specification Hummers at 18 passengers, where do they fit ? . Once again what about the big bus rules and the number of operators who have invested a lot of money in being PSV compliant, with national licences and qualified fleet managers and the rest?
No need for an operator's license
No need to keep funds in place for the O license (this can be a significant amount)
No ten weekly inspections?
No daily walk round requirements?
Need to serve two masters, both PSV and PHV.
Still need PSV Mot test, PSV drivers, Drivers hour records, Tachographs etc.
No ten weekly inspections (important for safety)
No daily walk round inspections (important for safety)
You will notice that some items are on both for and against. I genuinely don't think that this section has been given enough thought. By the Law Commission other than the knee jerk reaction about DBS checks.
Timing of the adoption of the reform proposals. I cannot see that it will reach the statute books prior to 1st January 2016 as no one in government will realistically attempt this before the next general election. Once the elections are over then it may just be seen as an 'easy' case to put before parliament with all the bugs ironed out for a new government to push through and show that they are being proactive.
Weddings and funerals - are to remain as exempt matters just as they are under the Local government miscellaneous provisions act 1976, once again I presume that this will only cover vehicles of eight passenger seats or less and not extend to the larger vehicles. Please remember that if you use a 'wedding car' for proms or special occasions then you MUST be licensed for hire and reward.
High Peak District Council - Mr Paul Jackson stated that High Peak District council will license chauffeur driven cars of all types and ages, subject to inspection and condition, signage is kept to a minimum with a discrete credit card sized badge which is displayed just above the tax disc, apart from that there is NO requirement for door signs, badges or plates.
It was also agreed that 'the knowledge' test was an irrelevance for chauffeur cars working up and down the country.. All that is insisted on is the Driver's current license, a DSB (CRB) check, a medical prior to the grant of a driver's badge.
To comply with the law the PHV operator must have an office and a telephone line within the High Peak area. The NLCA is in discussion to provide an office for the exclusive use of its members both for physical access, post and for telephone lines. Enquiries please to Bill for operators considering licensing within High Peak.
With stretched limousines High Peak council have no facilities to test these and is was proposed that on initial application a MOT test certificate less than a month old be submitted and that each six months a fresh MOT be issued and sent to High Peak. The NLCA have offered both advice and guidance on any American stretched limousine which may wish to be licensed.
Budget costs are as follows.
:: 118 for a driver for 3 years
:: 26 for a DSB (CRB) check
:: Drivers medical
:: 100 for an operator’s license
:: 88 for an initial vehicle inspection
:: 54 for a normal vehicle test (MOT standard)
Driver's licenses -
All operators should be aware that there is a legal duty for them to check ALL drivers licences every thirteen weeks, and that one of the checks each year should be carried out at the DVLA. To this end we have enlisted the services of Lisa Owen at Transport Training services (firstname.lastname@example.org) to carry out this and other services for members.
TTS UK Group have been specialising in Compliance and Training for HGV and PCV for 25 years and provide a wide variety of services to ensure businesses are operating legally. No matter how BIG or small all companies have a responsibility to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, that the health, safety and welfare of employees is looked after in the workplace.
A company must ensure that others are not put at risk by the work activities of their employees. Under health and safety guidelines an employer, has a Duty of Care for all their Drivers and the general public to ensure “work related road safety” obligations are met. Our audit verifies which employees drive for work, what they drive and whether they are both aware of your policies and have read and understood them, In addition there are questions regarding general health and incidents. The audit is flexible so not only can you remove standard questions but also add in those questions that are personal to your own business, the audit raises alerts for answers that cause concern so auditable actions can be undertaken to remedy.
The process is then repeated four times per annum so your people stay safe and the business remains compliant you can even request additional checks at the click of a button. Costs are a modest and they might just keep you out of court and definitely free of a corporate manslaughter charge. Each driver will be required to complete a consent form which can be done by paper or e-consent form which grants the employer the right to check his or her license on a continuing basis for a period of three years. Our Compliance Management Portal also offers the additional extras of Risk Excellence Driver Assessment Training and Employee Audits should companies want to see at a glance their headline figures and risks.
TTS also carry out Driver's CPC, Management CPC, Tachograph analysis, Transport audits FLT and ADR training and much more. Now may be the time for you to look at your systems and get a professional in to look at and safeguard your operator's license.
Traffic Commissioners - Just a timely reminder that the TC's are looking very closely at the conditions applied to your O license and if you do not comply, or even understand them, then you will end up at a public inquiry if you are stopped for even a minor matter. The watch word is compliance, the Traffic Commissioners have no dispensation on matters of non compliance, Black or white, legal or illegal, its your choice, but if you don’t make the effort then don't look at the NLCA to fight your battles after the event. The bar is getting higher each time, especially for small vehicles operated under section 265 of the Transport 2000 act.
Daily walk round sheets - just a reminder that even the smallest defect that arises on a job must be reported, don't just change a blown bulb, put it down as a defect, replace it and then sign it off and date the repair. It is important to demonstrate your audit trail and the fact that you know what you are doing and are remaining compliant.
If you are on a vehicle with a tachograph, PLEASE turn it on and put it on 'other work' whilst you are carrying out our daily walk round, this shows that you are spending a good ten minutes doing it and not just jumping into the vehicle and driving off. When you set off and change to driving mode it will NOT have affected your driving hours, but it will have help to create your audit trail.
MOT tests - just a timely reminder that recently a number of sixteen seat PSV vehicles have been issued with a class 5 MOT certificate, even though the test was carried out at an approved PSV test centre, in one case neither the operator or the test centre realised the mistake until the vehicle was stopped by DVSA. The correct test is class 6.
PSV drivers hours - thee is a very useful booklet titled Staying legal (the basics) available in both hard copy and as a download at http://www.vosa.gov.uk/staying-legal-psv. The layout is excellent and gives you 'at a glance answers' give one to each of your drivers.
Fire engines, Hummers & similar - limited to eight passengers - although these vehicle are often limited to eight passengers to avoid the need for a COIF, as they are over 3.5ton weight you will need the 7.5 ton category on your drivers license, plus a driver's CPC qualification, even though they are NOT PSV vehicles. They do NOT need a tachograph but the driver will be governed by the 'Domestic rules' for driver's hours and breaks. Having said that all drivers who drive commercially for a living are already covered by the European working time directive, and we recommend the carrying of a pocket diary to keep a continuous record of your hours of work and days off. Even if you drive an eight passenger vehicle.
A diary can also defuse a roadside encounter when you are stopped, and despite your Tachograph records being in order you cannot demonstrate what other work you have done that week or the records of your days off. Please visit the pound shop every year and treat every driver to a new diary.
These notes are to the best of my recollection a true record of the meeting, but if you feel that there are any mistakes or errata to them please inform me, preferably by email to email@example.com or call 0788 656 3724.
National Limousine and Chauffeur Association