Agenda item

Sunnybank Service Station - Additional Testing Station (Licensing)


Ben Thomson explained that the contract commenced 1 April 2022 and Sunnybank have started to receive applications to book in. It is a new contract and a lot of preparation work has taken place to ensure a smooth introduction. The standards will be the same as at Bradley Fold and they will use the same inspection manual.


The PHDA raised that they have big concerns that they are getting a compliance certificate and not an official MOT certificate.


Ben Thomson explained it is an independent testing station but will operate on the same basis as Bradley Fold in that the full compliance test will be carried out. Previously no compliance test certificate was issued, however after listening to the trade it was understood a compliance certificate was needed and therefore this has been built into the new arrangements and put in place at Bradley Fold from 1 April 2022.


The PHDA outlined the reason an MOT test certificate is also needed and should be simple to do as the compliance test is the MOT plus more measures. The reasons for the MOT certificate requirement were cited as:

  • On the police database it shows no valid MOT for the vehicle
  • Breakdown recovery companies will not come out / recover as shows the taxi has no valid MOT
  • Cannot tax online as no valid MOT
  • Difficult when come to sell as no valid MOT


It was agreed this message had previously not been understood and the compliance test certificate had been introduced to address the trades concerns. The Council agreed to look into the provision of an MOT certificate and update at the next Trade Liaison meeting


The Hackney carriage association agreed this was needed and should be easy to provide but acknowledged there may be a charge to the trade.


Action: Council to confirm if other authorities in GM and more widely provide an MOT certificate and to look at the implications / cost of provision.


Ben Thomson asked that the trade are reminded to book vehicles in early, up to 8 weeks in advance to ensure they can get the required test at the garage of their choice.


The trade agreed that it is a good idea to ensure applications are done 6 weeks in advance, however they raised concerns there were issues with drivers making applications early but not being contacted.


Action: Council to look into the processing of applications in light of this information to ensure they are being dealt with in a timely manner.


Trade raised issue that when drivers are working they cannot answer their phone. Trade asked to remind drivers to leave a message on Licensing voicemail and they will receive a call back. They can indicate a time that is convenient for the call back.


Work is underway on an online booking calendar for MOTs but this will take time to develop and implement as it requires changes to IT infrastructure.


A discussion took place about applications being treated as new applications now and the fact this information is not on the web site.


Action: To cross check the information is correct on the web site and states that if a license lapses it will be treated as a new application- update web site if needed.


Driver Safety


Ben Thomson explained the Council is looking to run an initiative to improve driver safety. He explained the Council and the Police were looking to produce a joint educational video around driver safety and Nazmul Islam will be in touch with the trade for input and to understand their thoughts on how driver safety could be improved.


Consideration was also being given to notices similar to those seen on buses to detail that abuse will not be tolerated. Again, views and ideas on design will be sort from the trade.


Discussion took place around the use of CCTV which was part of MLS but received push back from the trade and was deferred due to cost element for drivers and concerns about privacy.


The NPHA raised that funding may be available for CCTV and details could be sent to the council to explore.


Action: NPHA to send email with details of possible CCTV funding opportunities


Action: Licensing Engagement officer to engage with the trade and explore funding opportunities and feedback to the next Trade Liaison meeting