A report by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic services) is attached.
The Licensing Unit Manager presented a report submitted by the Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services), regarding the review of the five fault criteria in respect of a Hackney Carriage vehicle licence.
The report explained that prior to February 2006, Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years old were not licensed by Bury Council unless the vehicle was in ‘exceptional condition’. On 2 February 2006, following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association, the Licensing and Safety Panel reviewed the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria and resolved to allow vehicles to be licensed beyond 10 years of age subject to the vehicle passing requisite inspections with no more than 5 faults being identified (‘the 5 fault rule’).
This Policy has been reviewed since the above date and on 8 May 2014 the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report relating to the review of current Policies relating to the Licensing and testing of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. Members resolved that the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria be re-introduced for Hackney Carriages at 10 years old as an incentive to encourage proactive maintenance and provide for additional testing requirements where vehicles fall below acceptable standards.
In addition, existing licence holders be allowed a 3 year transitional period should they have made financial plans in respect of their vehicle to allow them to be licensed subject to the 5 fault rule.
On 27 July 2017, the Licensing and Safety Panel considered a report following a request from the Hackney Carriage Association represented by
Mr Giles Bridge, requesting the Council consider a 15 year age Policy and review whether the five fault rule or the ‘exceptional condition’ criteria should apply to all Hackney Carriage vehicles over 10 years of age. Members resolved unanimously that approval be given to continue with the current Licensing and testing Policy in relation to Hackney Carriage vehicles up to 10 years of age and then require the vehicle to be subject to the 5 fault rule.
The Licence Holder of a Peugeot Expert E7, was unable to attend the meeting due to being out of the Country from Friday 22 February 2019 and had instructed a family member, his son, to appear on his behalf. The
report presented by the Licensing Unit Manager explained that the vehicle in question, was transferred into the Licence Holder’s name on 21 June 2017 and is due to expire on 8 March 2019.
On 4 September 2018, the vehicle underwent a routine 6 month interim test at the Council’s test Centre at Bradley Fold and failed the test with 7 faults, 6 of which were MOT faults.
On 19 February 2019, the Licence Holder made an application to renew the vehicle licence prior to its expiry on 8 March 2019. The Licensing Service requested the vehicle undertakes the usual renewal test on 26 February 2019, where the vehicle was found to have 6 faults, 2 of which were MOT faults.
The Licensing Unit Manager explained it is for the licence holder to present a case as to whether the Licensing and Safety Panel should deviate from the current 5 fault rule Council Policy for vehicles over 10 years of age.
The Licence Holder’s son addressed the Panel and stated on reviewing the report from September 2018 and the definition of a fault, he did not consider some of these serious faults, e.g. both rear number plate lights inoperative and the fog lamp warning lamp inoperative. This was due to the bumper which was fitted prior to his father buying the vehicle, not being wired or accommodating them. He also stated that there was no leak on the power steering as the engine had been power washed and it was water and therefore he felt these should be deducted from the total and then the vehicle would fall within the 5 fault rule.
The Panel carefully considered the report including the information and results in relation to the testing of the vehicle and the oral representations made and resolved on a unanimous basis to refuse the renewal application.
The Panel found as follows;
1. That the vehicle had failed on 7 faults in September 2018, 6 being MOT faults.
2. That the vehicle had been driven over 200,000 miles.
3. That this was a very serious matter as public safety was paramount.
4. The vehicle failed its renewal test with faults including 2 MOT faults.
5. There was no evidence presented regarding the bumper or power washing of the engine.
6. That there were no facts presented upon which the Licensing and Safety Panel could justify deviating from the current 5 fault rule Council Policy for vehicles over 10 years.
The licence holder’s representative was informed of the licence holder’s right to appeal within 21 days.