Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for Commercial Strategy and Delivery
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To engage consultants to undertake a consultation on the proposal to introduce new part time taxi ranks in the Berkhamsted and Tring High Streets.
Consultation on a proposal to introduce new part time taxi ranks in the Berkhamsted and Tring High Streets and to revert the part time taxi rank in Forge Car Park back to permanent parking spaces.
Berkhamsted currently only has a part time taxi rank along the high street which runs between 0:30am and 5am and is a bus stop the rest of the time. This rank is of no value to the trade due to the restrictive times when it can be used, and therefore is not used at all.
The proposal to introduce a new rank which will operate between 19:00 and 07.00 will allow a good central location for a suitable period of time when it is expected that taxis would be utilised by evening customers of the local bars and restaurants. The rank would provide space for 8 taxis.
Tring currently has a part time taxi rank in Forge Car Park
It is rarely used, due to inconvenient location within the car park, which is not visible from main road due to brick hut, and is away from most evening premises
A more obvious rank on the High Street would assist in resolving recent issues with out-of-borough vehicles illegally plying within Tring
Loss of parking spaces could be mitigated by relinquishing rank spaces in Forge car park
General Issues affecting Berkhamsted and Tring
The taxi trade have been asking for improved rank provision in both towns for a number of years.
Improving the rank provision in the most suitable available locations, will be positive for our licensed trade to give them an advantage over out of area vehicles/drivers who can legally work in our area, which has been made easier by the Deregulation Act 2015, which now permits cross border hiring. It is good for our residents and visitors as it means they are more likely to be able to easily access one of our licensed vehicles/drivers, we license to a higher standard than some neighbouring authorities, and using local trade makes it easier for customers to complain should they experience any issues.
Required procedure for creation of new taxi ranks
There are two procedures that need to be followed to effectively create new taxi ranks. The use of a Traffic Regulation Order under the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1984, ss32-37, establishes restrictions to who can use the location, preventing other vehicles from parking in the ranks, and giving the Council the ability to take enforcement action when this happens. This is the most significant part of the overall process. Project Centre has been approached for a quote in regards to this process, and their proposal document is attached.
In addition to this there is a set process under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s63 which gives the Licensing Authority control over the stand, allowing enforcement to take place against misuse of the rank. Before appointing any stand for hackney carriages, the Council must give notice to the police and must also arrange a public notice of the proposal to appear in the local newspaper if any written objections or representations are received within twenty-eight days of the notice, these have to be taken into consideration.
Options Considered and reasons for rejection:
Not to consult on the proposals, which would leave the lack of rank provision unresolved. This would leave the situation as it is, providing our own licensed trade with little support to provide a good service to these towns, and leaving these towns as good locations for out of area trade to carry out work.
Publication date: 06/11/2020
Date of decision: 06/11/2020
Effective from: 14/11/2020