Change to Licensing Conditions for Taxis and Private Hire Cars – December 2014

Closed 9 Mar 2015

Opened 12 Dec 2014

Feedback Updated 16 Dec 2015

We Asked

The Council has been asked to license Private Hire Car vehicles with engine cubic capacities of less than 1500, or alternatively powered by electricity. This is not permissible under the current licensing conditions. A vehicle’s ‘Power to Weight’ ratio is now thought to be a more representative means of assessing its performance capabilities than the engine capacity alone. We asked whether you thought the Council should amend the existing conditions to take these points into account.

You Said

Nine responses were received. Some responses raised queries, but none objected to the proposals. The following points were made:

  1. Suggestion that the size of vehicles should be assessed to ensure they are appropriate for use as PHCs; 
  2. Suggestion that, for environmental reasons, a limit should be placed on vehicles with a large engine capacity, high power to weight ratio, and consideration should be given to banning diesel powered vehicles.

The full responses can be viewed in Appendix 2 to the report to the Council's Regulatory Committee on 28 April 2015. 

We Did

As a result the Regulatory Committee agreed the following:

  1. Removal of any restriction on the use of electricity as a means of powering a PHC or taxi, as there are no public safety grounds for maintaining the restriction. Accepted public policies, including sustainability, support this change.
  2. Removal of reference to engine capacity from the condition relating to PHCS - as for the operation of a vehicle as a PHC, engine capacity is no longer the most appropriate way to assess an engine’s power.
  3. Replace reference to engine capacity with a ‘Power to Weight’ ratio and set this at 0.0648 hp per kg - as 0.0648 hp per kg is the minimum value for vehicles which are already licensed as PHCs by the Council. This value will be kept under review. Vehicles will be assessed on the basis of the manufacturer’s original weight and brake horsepower specification, and no subsequent modification will be taken in to account.

These changes require the following amendments to the conditions of licence;

  1. In Schedule A: Conditions of Fitness of Taxis add the following after condition 202, ‘Electrical Propulsion 202A Subject to inspection and testing by the Taxi Examination Centre, Taxis may use electricity as a means of propulsion including its use within any hybrid engine.
  2. In Schedule B: Conditions of Fitness of Private Hire Cars add the following after condition 256, ‘Electrical Propulsion 256A Subject to inspection and testing by the Taxi Examination Centre, Private Hire Cars may use electricity as a means of propulsion including its use within any hybrid engine.
  3. In Schedule B: Conditions of Fitness of Private Hire Cars delete wording of current condition 244 and replace with the following ‘ The vehicle must have an engine capacity with a ‘Power to Weight’ ratio equal to or greater than 0.0648 hp per kg’.

Overview

The City of Edinburgh Council has to consult on proposals to change the standard Licensing Conditions for Taxis, Private Hire Cars, Taxi Drivers and Private Hire Car Drivers, to consider whether the existing conditions should be altered. A report was presented to the Council's Regulatory Committee on 17 November 2014 regarding the proposed changes to conditions.

The proposals concern a change in the way that engine performance capabilities are calculated; and ask whether electrically powered vehicles should be licensed.

Why We Are Consulting

The Council has been asked to license Private Hire Car vehicles with engine cubic capacities of less than 1500, or alternatively powered by electricity. This is not permissible under the current licensing conditions.

A vehicle’s ‘Power to Weight’ ratio is now thought to be a more representative means of assessing its performance capabilities than the engine capacity alone.

This consultation will run until Monday 9 March 2015.

Areas

  • All Edinburgh

Audiences

  • Residents
  • Road users
  • Visitors
  • Taxi Licence holders

Interests

  • Public Transport
  • Road safety
  • Traffic regulation
  • Travel in Edinburgh
  • Licences and permits