New taxi licensing policy drives up standards
St Helens taxis drivers joined council officials at the town hall to show their backing for St Helens Council’s revised Taxi Licensing Policy.
The policy – which aims to support and develop the local taxi trade, maintain high service standards and protect the public – is the result of productive partnership work between the local authority and the licensed vehicle trade that began in early 2015, subject to an extensive consultation process.
It sets clear boundaries on what is expected of a license holder in St Helens, ensuring all procedures are clear and understandable, considering the high regard that taxi drivers are held in locally, and outlining the standards passengers should expect from their drivers and vice versa.
The policy was devised to reflect that Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles have a specific role to play in an integrated transport system – becoming increasingly important in improving accessibility and sustainable travel.
Taxi drivers Andrew Delahunty and Colin Williams joined the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillors Steve and Lynn Glover, Licensing and Environmental Protection Committee members Councillor Dave Banks (Chairman) and Councillor Allan Jones – as well as members of St Helens Council’s Licensing and Land Charges team – to show their support.
Councillor Banks said: “Taxis are usually the first contact many visitors have with an area and as such, it is essential that standards are high so that those accessing the service can be confident of the quality of that service.
“As a borough which has recently placed regeneration at its forefront, it is essential that those who can play a part in developing a positive image of St Helens do this effectively.”
Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, Cabinet Member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough, and member of the Licensing Committee, added:
“We have viewed the production of this policy as a method to engage the licensed vehicle trade in proactive and productive discussions not just around the policy, but as to how we may begin to further grow this important sector within the borough. Going forward, we’ll be looking to further develop the policy, adding provision for electric cars and looking at new ways of operating.
“Reaction from the trade overall has been extremely positive, with thanks and comments noted by members of the Licensing Committee on what continues to be a positive and effective working relationship.”
(See attached file: _DSC0339.jpg) Driving up standards… Taxi drivers Colin Williams (end right) and Andrew Delahunty (2nd on right) with the Mayor (back row: 3rd on left);Mayoress (front row: 4th on right); Licensing and Environmental Protection Committee members Councillor Dave Banks (front
row: 3rd in on the right), Councillor Allan Jones (back row: end right) – and members of St Helens Council’s Licensing and Land Charges team.