Last updated: 26-10-2023. From web page: Noticeboard.

Taxi and Private Hire Trade Forum - 27 September 2023

Trade Consultation with Southampton City Council Licensing

10am to 1200 Wednesday 27th September 2023 Online Meeting

Chair is Cllr Matthew Bunday

The purpose of this forum is defined as:

  • A two-way exchange of information, dialogue and discussion
  • To hear views, comments and concerns of the trade
  • To receive information, comments, and concerns of the Licensing Team,

Members and the Council as a whole.

  • Not a decision making forum
  • Where matters of a particular concern and where appropriate, matters raised can be referred to the Licensing Committee where a formal decision can be made.

It should be borne in mind that consultation does not necessarily mean agreement with and that consultation meetings cannot be decision making meetings.

Cllr Bunday has also invited the following people to attend:

Ian Loynes - Spectrum Southampton
Martina Olley - SCC TCF Programme Manager, Transport


  1. Introductions/Apologies. Chair
    • Ian Hall, in his place, Joseph Jones.
  2. Minutes from Previous Meeting. Chair
  3. Central Station Works Update. SCC/SHPHA
    • Phil Bates apologised to group as he believed he had sent an update but was unable to find it when challenged.
    • We heard from Martina Olley who is the programme manager for the works at central station. She told the group that works had over ran and the earliest the downside rank will be available is November.
  4. Card acceptance in hackney carriages. Licensing
    • Plans are being drafted up to hold a consultation on changing the Hackney Carriage conditions to require payment card facilities in every hackney carriage. This has so far met with support from all parts of the trade and council.
  5. Environmental issue of bus lanes where only Southampton registered vehicles can use - issue needs to be looked into again. SHPHA
    • Southampton City Council received a ministerial direction in 2017 to develop a plan for local nitrogen dioxide (NO2) compliance (the “Plan”) that would achieve compliance with the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive annual mean limit value for NO2 within the shortest possible time. The Plan that was submitted and approved by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) included additional licensing requirements. (The removal of euro 5 diesel vehicles from fleet). Subsequently, the council received a ministerial direction to implement the Plan as soon as possible and at least in time to bring forward compliance to 2019. Part of the process identified that by changing our conditions it would make it more appealing to licence outside of Southampton and still operate inside the borders. An agreed mitigation to this was to restrict access to SCC bus lanes. This was implemented by the licensing committee following consultation on 24th July 2019. There are no plans to change this.
  6. Drug testing policy, by taking something quite innocently ie. a chocolate bar or a paracetamol, you could fail the test. SHPHA
    • This has been addressed previously. The testing and subsequent laboratory analysis is the same as that undertaken by the Police. Therefore, it is tried and tested in court. All cases that a determination is made if a licence should be refused, suspended, or revoked are decided
      on their merits and all evidence is taken into consideration including a defence such as those mentioned.
  7. The ongoing situation with suitcases in the docks. SHPHA
    • A new hackney carriage table of fares is being introduced on 4th October. This does not include the ability to charge extra for cases. There has been the ability to charge extra before, and it was abused. There are no plans to bring it back. Drivers should ensure that they safely load their vehicles. If there are too many cases, more than one vehicle may be required.
  8. Our excellent docks representative Adrian Bridger has sent emails to ABP, including yourselves in the correspondence and has mentioned serious safety issues at the Horizons Cruise Terminal. You sell the dock permits to the driver and should have a duty of care. What are you doing about this? SHPHA
    • The safety inside the dock estate is the responsibility of ABP, as agents can pass on concerns. (I believe a representative of SHPHA has met with ABP regarding this issue since the meeting).
  9. Ali Haydor's suggestion of a different form of ID plate on the rear of a vehicle as used in Brighton - why are you not entertaining this? SHPHA
    • This was discussed amongst the group and the major concern is the lack of expiry date on this style of plate would cause issues when the vehicle is no longer licensed. The trade, Councillors and Licensing all shared this concern. VIP systems have made great efforts recently with the environmental aspect of the plates. As such, the adhesive backing is now paper instead of plastic and the plate is recycled after shredding.
  10. For those private hire drivers that do not have their own operator's licence, can we make sure the company's that these drivers are working for on multi apps, have an up-to-date list of who is on their operator's licence? SHPHA
    • We no longer print on operator licenses which vehicles that operator operates. Instead, there is an agreed system of reporting for the larger operators. It is not cost effective to continually update operator licences.
  11. Extension of age of licensed Southampton vehicles. SHPHA/SHO
    • We will never set timelines for the maximum age of vehicles arbitrarily, the evidence and guidance has not supported the extending of the age limit to vehicles. A recent spot-check of the condition of vehicles was further evidence when a large proportion of the vehicles inspected failed the spot check.
      We understand that taxi drivers face a very tough economic time at present and will always consider ways to make things easier for them, but we must always prioritise passenger safety, which does not support an increase in the age.
  12. Extension of terminus terrace taxi rank. SHO
    • The rank really isn’t long enough in this area. Can it be extended? Phil reported that there is planned works in terminus terrace and he will make enquiries if better rank provision can be included.
  13. Hackney badge without test with 4 years’ experience of PH. SHO
    • Russell reported that he had written a report for SCC senior officers to make a decision on the future of the hackney knowledge test. It is now in their hands.

The following items will be dealt with by written response after the meeting:

  1. SCC licensing not answering questions correctly regarding finances. When the trade is asked to attend a meeting on licensing increases, a member of the finance department should be present to explain and answer questions. SHPHA

    Finance officers will be asked to attend future meetings when fees will be discussed.
  2. No proper toilet facilities for night time drivers. If you expect Southampton licensed drivers to work at night, proper toilet facilities need to be provided. The council might not be complying with the Humans Rights Act 1998. SHPHA
    • We cannot use licencing fees for this. Phil has explored the idea that licensed premises allow drivers to use their facilities but this did not receive support from them.
      With the current financial position the authority is in there is no SCC money to pay for such facilities. Also there is no duty on SCC to provide them to licensed drivers.

Trade Invitees

AE – Abdiwali ELMI - STA
PG – Pritesh GOKANI - Uber
AH – Ali HAYDOR - GMB Union Rep
PM – Perry MCMILLAN - UNITE Union Rep
MP – Mayuri PANDYA - Bolt
GP – Gino PICCANINO - Elected Hackney Rep
JR – Jamilur RAHMAN - Elected Private Hire Trade Rep
AS – Ajmal SUDAN - SHO
AS – Anwar SUMRA - Elected Hackney Rep

SHO – Southampton Hackney Organisation
SHPHA – Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association
STA – Southampton Taxi Association