A consultation is underway on plans to alter the issuing of taxi vehicle licence plates across the borough.
Based on feedback received during consultation, the Council is now consulting on a draft proposal to issue a vehicle licence plate annually, rather than at each compliance check.
The Council believe that this is more efficient for officers and drivers, will reduce the associated costs of licensing a vehicle, and reduce the impact on the environment.
Following the Jay and Casey reports of 2013 and 2015, the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy was reviewed and improved significantly.
It included a requirement that all licensed vehicles must undergo regular compliance checks, the number of which are determined by the age of the vehicle:
- Under 3 years – 1 test per year
- Between 3-5 years – 2 tests per year
- Over 5 years – 3 tests per year
To support this, the current Policy is that vehicle licence plates (the physical plate displayed on the taxi itself) are issued for the duration between compliance checks, so a vehicle that is over five years in age is issued with three licence plates a year.
Due to the additional checks that the Council are now able to undertake through online systems, it is proposed that the Council changes its policy and issue only one licence plate a year to drivers with the number of compliance checks staying the same.
This would reduce the number of plates printed and issued by approximately 1500 every year, whilst also saving the licensed trade approximately £28,785 a year.
Furthermore, the Council are required to dispose of all expired plates which are non-recyclable, meaning that 112 square metres of plastic is currently sent to landfill unnecessarily every year.
Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads & Community Safety, Councillor Emma Hoddinott, said: “The Council’s taxi licensing policy has come a long way since changes were introduced in 2015 and we are committed to further improving taxi licensing for customers, drivers and operators.
“We are keen to hear the public's views on whether the license plates on the car should be tied to the date of inspections, or whether this requirement is no longer needed."
This public consultation period will end on 15th January 2021, when a proposal will be written and presented to the Council’s Cabinet.
You can view the consultation on the Council website here www.rotherham.gov.uk/consultation-feedback