Agenda and minutes

Licensed Transport Forum
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:00 am

Venue: Rooms 12/13 Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh, SO50 9YN

Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer tel: 02380688112; email:  cheryll.kemsley@eastleigh.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Annual Forum Elections - Welcome Re-elected Members

Following the annual invitation to nominate other members of the Trade to stand as Private Hire and Hackney Carriage representatives on the Forum, it was resolved that the four posts up for election were non-contested.

 

The Forum welcomes back Ian Dixon and Roger Vivian, Private Hire representatives, and Simon Cornwell and Alan Lloyd, Hackney Carriage Representatives.

Minutes:

Councillor David Airey welcomed the re-elected members and noted that it was encouraging to have consistency in the Forum and know that the trade was being well represented.

2.

Minutes of Meeting held on 21 October 2014 pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the removal of the word ‘satisfactorily’ from Item 2 ‘Travelodge pick-up drop off’, and Item 3 paragraph three should refer to Southampton Airport Parkway Station.

3.

Action List pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Action List was considered and updates given as follows:

 

Ageas Bowl Hotel – Item to be chased up again with Paul Phillips.

 

Unlicensed Private Hire operators – Hampshire County Council had issued guidance on Good Neighbours schemes, and confirmed that requests for donations up to the cost of running the service were allowed. The Trade still felt that these schemes were impacting on business, and Alan Lloyd requested that a report be produced by the Legal, Licensing and Transport departments investigating the matter.

4.

Taxi Rank Provision - Hamble Square (TH - Transportation and Engineering)

Minutes:

Tracy Haskett presented four options to provide two rank spaces in Hamble Square. Opinions were invited from the Trade representatives on the following options;

a)    The lay-by on Satchell Lane

b)    Utilising space in the Square car park opposite Boomerang restaurant

c)    The space outside the Co-Op

d)    The square bus stop (last bus departing 11:15pm)

 

Considering the advantages and disadvantages of all options, the Trade agreed that option D would be the most preferable option, as it would not affect the buses, offers a traditional rank layout and should not affect business deliveries if it operated from 10pm.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That Tracy Haskett proceed with further investigation into using option C as a taxi rank.

5.

OLEV Electric Taxi Bid Opportunity pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Minutes:

Richard Pemberton presented the Forum with information about some forthcoming bid funding to be made available by the Government Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to support and encourage uptake of electric vehicles across the UK. OLEV has recently announced that in 2015 they will be running a bid competition to distribute £20m worth of financial support for low emission Taxis/Private Hire vehicles. Bids are expected to be submitted between March 2015 and September 2015, and the funding is expected to be available for projects over the period 2015-2020. Bids have to be submitted to OLEV by local authorities (in this area either EBC or HCC).

 

Preliminary guidance has been provided and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ultra-low-emission-vehicle-taxi-scheme-preliminary-guidance

 

Richard Pemberton explained that the most promising part of the scheme from Eastleigh Borough’s point of view was the possibility of bidding for funding of infrastructure to support electric taxi recharging. A viable bid would need to show a direct link between the funding and the number of electric taxis/private hire vehicles that would enter the local taxi fleet. Also there was a requirement to demonstrate value for money, with a possibility that EBC could provide match funding to support any bid that was likely to help progress the objective of improving town centre air quality. Furthermore, a worthwhile bid would require some commitment from local operators to purchase electric vehicles of part of their fleet plans.

 

Hence Eastleigh Borough Council is interested in discussion with taxi operators whether there is any potential for us to submit a bid for funding in partnership with them.

 

Trade representatives explained there would be practical issues with having a charge point on the main taxi rank, and that if these were installed it would be preferable to have them in areas convenient for use by both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. However many of those present felt that Electric taxis were impractical with too many upfront costs.

 

Alan Lloyd expressed his disappointment at the Trade not being informed of the upcoming Air Quality Management report to be presented to the Eastleigh Local Area Committee which has implications on taxi/private hire vehicles. Councillor Anne Winstanley said she would ask officers involved that the Trade be approached on the matter.

6.

No Booking No Ride (ID)

Minutes:

Ian Dixon informed that he had received complaints from two drivers who had been subjected to sexual comments from male passengers related to the ‘No booking, no ride’ signage. They had reported 9 incidents in the last 12 months.

 

It was suggested that the wording could be changed to ‘Pre-booked only’. It was also noted that any changes would incur costs for the drivers. Richard Ward questioned whether it was necessary for all private hire vehicles to have exactly the same signage, and whether those who had issues with the current phrase could change it if they wished so long as the message was still the same. Steve Lucas also suggested another option of replacing the word ‘ride’ with ‘fare’.

 

Councillor Winstanley reiterated that further research was needed into the prevalence of such incidents and opinions on any changes to the signage gathered from the Trade.

7.

End of Year Results 2014 (SE) pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Shaun Eade presented his 2014 End of Year Results report, citing the use of the internet as a reason for increased enquiries. Repeat offenders had been sent on Blue Lamp Trust driving courses after receiving warning letters.

8.

Update on meter lockdown/clock running/effect of fare increase (SE)

Minutes:

Shaun Eade reported that he had contacted the different installers and manufacturers of the meters, and had received information and leaflets on how to adjust them. It was suggested that companies be approached to create some ‘hubs’ around the borough where fittings could take place.

 

He informed that any fare increases could come in from the 1st April, subject to Administration Committee and the proposal being advertised.

 

Fare increase proposal refer to Item 15.

9.

Consideration of charges for replacement tariff charts and replacement handbooks (SE)

Minutes:

Shaun Eade reported that if Tariff Charts were lost, there would be a charge for its replacement. As agreed by Councillors, drivers would be given a new copy of the Drivers Handbook. It was also available for viewing online. 

10.

What vehicles are acceptable when first put on? (KM)

Minutes:

Kevin May on behalf of a colleague, sought clarification of what vehicles were allowed when first put on. Shaun Eade referred to the processes that had been put in place for this, with a list available on the EBC taxi licensing website. Anything not on the list would need to be inspected by the Council.

11.

Dual Licensing (AL)

Minutes:

Alan Lloyd expressed his frustration at the length of the time it was taking to get a decision on Dual Licensing. Cheryll Kemsley advised that the report was going to the Administration Committee for decision on Monday 16 February. Meeting to be held at 18:00 in Eastleigh House, rooms 11/12/13.

12.

Mystery Shopper (AL)

Minutes:

Alan Lloyd voiced his dissatisfaction at a lack of commitment to the initiative; more mystery shoppers need to be sent out at the right times to catch those offenders who can then be made an example of. Richard Ward advised that six had taken place already, with an aim to do five per calendar month.

13.

Southampton Airport. Update please on the situation with regard to taxis and the new owners (AL)

Minutes:

Councillor Airey reported the Airport had advised that whilst the ownership had changed, the local management remained the same and there was no change in their stance on taxis and it was business as usual.

14.

EBC letter to Drivers (AL)

Minutes:

Alan Lloyd reported that two recent letters addressed to drivers from the Council had been incomprehensible and unclear in their meaning. He asked that future letters be checked for their accuracy before being sent out, and written in plain English.

15.

Fare Increases (AL)

Minutes:

Alan Lloyd put forward a request to Eastleigh Borough Council that they consider the following proposal for a fare increase (which would be the first since September 2011) -

 

Tariff 1 – Pull off increase to £2.90 (from £2.80) for the first 1/5 of a mile, then 20p per 1/10, making the first mile worth £4.50, and each subsequent mile £2.00 – (currently £4.30 and £1.80).

 

Tariff 2 – Pull off remains at £3.00 but for the first 1/11 of a mile, and then 25p per 1/11, making the first mile worth £5.50 and each subsequent mile worth £2.75 – (currently £5.25 and £2.50).

 

Tariff 3 – Double that of Tariff 1

 

Waiting Time

Tariff 1 – 30p per minute

Tariff 2 – 35p per minute

Tariff 3 – 40p per minute

16.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

Simon Cornwell advised he had been informed by drivers of the X5 bus at Southampton Airport Parkway station waiting at the stop for periods of up to 15 minutes, further fuelling evening congestion. Councillor Airey explained that the X5 bus timetable had changed in November aimed at improving timekeeping and this has resulted in a slightly longer stop over time. Operators, Xelabus, were to be informed of the issue and asked to encourage their drivers to get as far forward on the stand as possible, maintaining their turning angle, so as to create more space. The problem was seen as greatest when there was more than one bus at the bus stop.

 

Kim Scully gave an update on the knowledge test being available to complete on computers. A prototype was in place, but needed tweaking and progress was slow due to the person contracted for the work only working one day a week at EBC. The possibility of increasing her hours to get the project completed more quickly would be looked into.