What are Hackney Carriages?
Hackney carriages, often referred to as taxis, may be hired as follows:
- hailed in the street
- from a taxi rank
The maximum fares for journeys within the city are regulated by the city council. Southampton's licence conditions require such vehicles to be predominantly white in colour. They can only be driven by the holder of a hackney carriage driver's licence from the city council, whether or not the vehicles are available for hire.
The licence conditions require that hackney carriages have either an integral "taxi" roof sign (purpose built vehicles) or a full width "taxi" roof sign. The vehicle also has a red and white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle, the details of which are reproduced on a sticker in the windscreen.
Copies of the hackney carriage policy and conditions and the 1970 byelaw for hackney carriages and motor vehicles let for hire are available below.
The Licensing Committee considered an independent survey on the demand for the services of licensed hackney carriages in the city at its meeting on 14th June 2012 and, having been made aware of government guidance and the body of case law, determined that there was no significant unmet demand for the services of additional licensed hackney carriages in the city. Subject to any changes in the law or guidance in the interim, a further survey will need to be carried out within three years. A total of 283 hackney carriages are licensed by Southampton City Council.
For further information, please see the taxi and private hire notice board.
Forms for change of vehicle on an existing licence and notification of the change of address of an existing licence holder can be found below. You are strongly advised to seek the advice of the licensing team before purchasing any vehicle to be licensed as a hackney carriage.
Please note that the Licensing Committee determined on 26th August 2009 that, as a matter of policy, vehicles must be fitted with a digital taxi cameras to the satisfaction of the council. This requirement will be effective immediately on the grant of a new licence (other than by way of renewal) or on the replacement of a licensed vehicle. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has confirmed that vehicle proprietors may claim back the net cost of camera installations against tax over one year. Please also see the Vehicle Application Guidance below for details of the requirements for new and replacement licensed vehicles, including information about the required taxi cameras.
Information Rights Tribunal
Please note that, following the judgment of the Information Rights Tribunal, issued on 20th February 2013 on an appeal against a Notice from the Information Commissioner, the requirement for the installation of camera systems in taxis and private hire vehicles has been temporarily suspended, pending the Licensing Committee's review of licence policy and conditions. The judgment is solely in respect of the continuous audio recording facility and has no effect on video recording in vehicles. Please see the taxi notice board for further information.
Associated British Ports reached agreement in March 2009 for Southampton City Council's licensing team to issue permits allowing Southampton licensed hackney carriages access to ABP's docks land with effect from 1st April 2009. The agreement with ABP is for a five year period. The application form is available below. All payments should be made to Southampton City Council via the licensing office at Southbrook Rise. Please note that no Southampton licensed hackney carriage can stand or ply for hire on ABP docks land without such a permit.