Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing
The Council is responsible for the licensing of hackney carriage (taxis) and private hire vehicles, which carry passengers for hire and reward up to a maximum of 8 passenger seats, vehicles over 8 passenger seats are required to be licensed by the Area Traffic Commissioner. The Council is also responsible for the licensing the drivers and operators of these vehicles.
Exemptions from Licensing
The only exemptions from licensing a vehicle for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward are vehicles exclusively used as wedding and funeral cars.
Taxi Fares and Charges
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Fares and Charges changed in 2022 following consultation with the drivers and the public.
Private hire vehicles are exempt from statutory charging and do not by law have to carry a fare charging meter. They are free to charge a similar amount for a journey as would be charged by a Hackney Carriage (Taxi).
However, the majority of Private Hire Vehicles in the Rochford District are actually equipped with fare charging meters and their charges are similar to Hackney Carriage charges.
If you drive a Hackney Carriage (Taxi), Rochford District Council regulate the fare you can charge your customers. Please see the Authorised Fares for Hackney Carriage in the related content for information regarding the current fares.
If you drive a private hire vehicle, we do not regulate the fare you can charge your customers.
The fare should be agreed between the operator and the customer when the customer makes the booking.
Authorised taxi ranks can be found at the following locations in the Rochford District:
|High Street, Rayleigh||8 spaces situated outside 'Boots The Chemist' (Feeder rank of 6 spaces).|
|The Approach,Rayleigh||3 spaces at the rear of Railway Station (Southend bound platform side)|
|Bramerton Road, Hockley||2 spaces near junction with Spa Road|
|Plumberow Avenue,Hockley||2 spaces outside Railway Station car park (Southend bound platform side)|
|Spa Road, Hockley||1 space outside Co-Operative Supermarket|
|Market Square, Rochford||5 spaces|
|Golden Cross Parade||2 spaces near junction with Rectory Road|
|High Street, Great Wakering||2 spaces near junction with Mercer Avenue|
The Railway Authority has also provided and controls areas for taxis at each of the 3 stations within the district at Rayleigh, Hockley and Rochford.
Lost Property in a Taxi
It is a licence condition that all drivers finding lost property in their vehicles to hand the items into the Transportation Office within 48 hours. If you have left your property in a licensed vehicle please report it to the Hackney Carriage Officer. Your details will be recorded and you will be contacted as soon as the driver has handed in your property. Please be aware that the driver is permitted to charge a small fee for the return of your property.
Hackney Carriage Vehicles (Taxis)
There are currently 226 vehicles licensed of various types, including saloons, MPV's and wheelchair accessible vehicles. A licensed taxi may be hired at one of the Districts taxi ranks or be hailed in the street or be pre booked. Hackney Carriage vehicles display the Councils door sticker on the rear doors stating ‘permitted to ply for hire’ and a Council licence plate to the rear of the vehicle. The plate is yellow and displays full details of the vehicle including the number of persons it is licensed to carry. All hackney carriage vehicles must display a taxi roof sign when plying for hire and carry a taximeter.
Private Hire Vehicles
There are 101 private hire vehicles licensed within the district, these vehicles must be pre booked and are generally used by operators for contract hire, executive hire and airport work etc. Private hire vehicles display the Councils door sticker on the rear doors and state ‘vehicle must be pre booked’ and a Council licence plate to the rear of the vehicle, unless there is an exemption for signage then the plate will be carried in the vehicle together with an exemption certificate. The plate is green and white and displays full details of the vehicle including the number of person it is licensed to carry. If you are thinking of booking a vehicle to take you to the airport or for any special occasion please ensure that the operator is licensed with the Local Authority from which he operates. These vehicles can not stop on taxi ranks or be hailed in the street.
Stretch Limousines, Vintage/Classic Vehicles including Horse Drawn Carriages
These vehicles are carrying passenger for hire and reward and must be licensed with the Local Authority or with the Traffic Commissioners. Vehicles licensed with the Local Authority are not permitted to carry more than 8 passengers. Potential limousine operators are advised to check the Related Content section below for the current advice for licensing of these vehicles. If a limousine has more than 320 centimetres (128 inches) of seating area they must be licensed with the Traffic Commissioners. Currently there are no vintage/classic or horse drawn vehicles licensed by Rochford District Council. These vehicles are classed as private hire vehicles and comply with those conditions.
There are currently 374 licensed drivers, each undergoing regular medical examinations, right to work checks, driving test and Criminal Records Checks to ensure fitness to drive and they are a fit and proper person to carry passengers. A licensed driver must wear his authorised badge for identification.
A licensed Private Hire drivers badge is green and displays their photograph, badge number and expiry date.
A combined licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers badge is predominately yellow with green patterning at the bottom and displays their photograph, badge number and expiry date.
Applying for a Licence
To apply for a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle or for any other query please contact the Hackney Carriage Officer. Further information can be found in the Related Content section.
Complaints and Compliments
If you wish to make a complaint about a licensed driver breaching the Councils conditions on drivers and/or vehicles please do so, in the first instance by phone with a formal complaint in writing (letter, email or fax) to the Hackney Carriage Officer and include the drivers licence plate number or badge number, together with a date and time of the incident. If the complaint refers to driving and you feel the drivers actions were dangerous please inform the Traffic Police.
Hackney Carriage Officer,
Essex, SS6 8EB..