Guidance for passengers

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Guidance for passengers

Rother District Council licenses two distinct types of vehicle which can legally carry fare paying passengers:

  • Hackney Carriages - also known as taxis or cabs
  • Private Hire Vehicles

They must only be driven by drivers who are also licensed by Rother District Council.

All licensed vehicles must continue to meet our specifications and pass a vehicle compliance test (which includes an MOT) every 6 months.

Hackney Carriages

Hackney Carriage Badge Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Hackney Carriages licensed by Rother can be flagged down in the street (only within the Rother district), they can also wait on a Rother rank, or be pre-booked.  They must:

  • Be fitted with an operating taximeter (fare meter).
  • Not charge more than the fare displayed on the meter.
  • Display the Council's maximum Hackney Carriage fare tariff in a prominent position in the vehicle.
  • Be fitted with an external roof box (illuminated when available to hire).
  • Display a white rear licence plate with the licence number, expiry date and maximum number of passengers.
  • Display white rear door badges with the vehicle licence number.
  • Display an internal vehicle licence badge.
  • Be able to safely carry 100 litres of luggage per passenger.

Private Hire Vehicles

Private Hire Badge

Private Hire Vehicles can only be pre-booked in advance (they cannot be flagged down or wait in the street or wait on a rank).  They are not subject to the Council's maximum fare tariff and the cost should therefore be agreed before the start of your journey  They must:

  • Work for a 'Private Hire Operator' also licensed by Rother District Council.
  • Not be fitted with a roof-box.
  • Display a yellow rear licence plate with the licence number, expiry date and maximum number of passengers.
  • Display yellow rear door badges with the licence number.
  • Display an internal licence badge.
  • Be able to safely carry 100 litres of luggage per passenger.

A small number of private hire vehicles are exempt from displaying the external licence plate and door badge. They must display the internal vehicle badge and carry the rear licence plate, door badges and an exemption certificate in the car at all times. If in doubt, ask to see them.

Licensed Drivers

Driver Badge

A Driver's Licence is issued for a maximum of three years. Before first licensing, and on every renewal thereafter, the driver must provide a medical report and undergo fresh checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service and the DVLA. When working, drivers are required at all times to have on view, either on their person or in the front windscreen, a Council issued photographic identity badge. If you cannot see this, ask the Driver to show it to you. The badge shows the:

  • Council's logo
  • Driver's photograph
  • Driver's licence number
  • Expiry date of the Licence

Staying safe

  • If possible pre-book your return journey before going out.
  • Let a third party know the details of your journey.
  • Check the vehicle has a rear plate and door badges, otherwise do not get in the vehicle.
  • Make a note of the licence number.
  • Ask to see the driver's badge, make a not of his/her number.
  • Do not get in the vehicle if the driver is unable to show you a badge has it expired
  • If you are on your own, sit in the back behind the driver.

No Plate, No Badge = No Ride!

Every Christmas we run a poster campaign pdf icon Unlicensed Taxi Campaign Poster [3Mb] to promote the use of licensed taxis when you are out and about in Rother

Safeguarding including child sexual exploitation

Professional taxi and private hire drivers can play a valuable role in safeguarding vulnerable youngsters or adults, who undertake regular journeys unaccompanied by a parent or carer.  The  pdf icon Taxi Safeguarding Leaflet [324kb] details the instructions and advice given to all licensed drivers, but particularly those involved in collecting and delivering school children.

Child sexual exploitation (usually referred to as CSE) is when anyone under the age of 18 is encouraged, forced or manipulated into sexual acts, often in exchange for something.  Exploited children are usually too terrified and ashamed to ask for help themselves. Taxi drivers are in a unique position to notice when all may not be right with passengers in their vehicle, pass their concerns on to the police - and potentially save a child from the nightmare of CSE. For more information please visit Sussex Police's Child Sexual Exploitation page.

Fares

You are entitled to ask for and be given a written receipt.

If you have a query about the amount you were charged:

Hackney Carriages

For all journeys that start and finish in the Rother district the taximeter must be used and you must not be charged more than the fare displayed on the taximeter.

Please view the pdf icon Hackney Carriage Fare Card [67kb].

Hackney Carriages must display the Council's maximum Hackney Carriage fare tariff in a prominent position in the vehicle.  The taximeter can be set to a lower tariff and a fare card for this tariff must be displayed together with the Council's maximum fare card.

The taximeter must not be started until you are in the vehicle.

For journeys that do not start and finish in Rother district e.g. Battle to Gatwick airport, you should agree before the start of the journey whether the driver will use the taximeter or agree a fixed fare.

Private Hire Vehicles

Private Hire vehicles are not required to be fitted with a taximeter.  They  set their own charges and, to avoid surprises, it is always advisable to agree the fare in advance.

Assistance dogs

A driver can only refuse to carry an assistance dog if he/she has a medical exemption certificate, this must be shown on request.

Refusals

A driver can refuse a fare with a reasonable excuse e.g. risk of physical violence, passengers who are abusive, racist, sexist, foul mouthed, extremely drunk, refuse to stop smoking, likely to vomit or have vomited over themselves etc. 

Complaints

The Council may investigate complaints received from the public. To assist us, please make a note of the Driver's Badge Number or the Vehicle Plate Number, and the time, date and place of the incident. The Taxi Licensing Officer can be contacted on the details below.

 

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