Agenda Item No 4

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Public Protection Licensing Committee: 4th September, 2018

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing

 

Amendments to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Conditions Relating to the Storage of Luggage

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To consider the suitability of condition 21 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Hackney Carriages and condition 15 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles in promoting public safety, these conditions require hackney carriages and private hire vehicles that are estate cars to have a metal luggage guard permanently fitted between the luggage and passenger compartments.
  2. To consider an amendment to the above conditions, in light of improvements in vehicle construction.

Recommendation

That members approve the amendments to condition 21 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Hackney Carriages and condition 15 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles as detailed in paragraph 10.

Reason for the Recommendation

The conditions requiring a metal luggage guard have been in place for a number of years and were implemented at a time when manufacturers did not always provide suitable security for the storage of luggage in estate vehicles. However, it is now commonplace for estate cars to come with luggage guards from factory that have been tested by the manufacturer. Many manufacturers do not supply metal luggage guards, either from factory or as an optional extra, as such vehicle proprietors are required to install non-manufacturer approved luggage guards in order to comply with the current conditions.

Background

  1. The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 states that a district council may attach to the grant of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence, such conditions as they may consider reasonably necessary.
  2. Condition 21 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Hackney Carriages, which relates to the boot or luggage compartment, states "To be clean and free for the accommodation of passenger's luggage. Where the hackney carriage vehicle is an estate vehicle it must have a metal luggage guard permanently fitted between the luggage and passenger compartments. The guard must have Licensing Authority approval prior to use. Any items carried in the boot or luggage compartment must be secured."
  3. Condition 15 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Private Hire Vehicles, which relates to the boot or luggage compartment, states "to be clean and free for the accommodation of passenger's luggage. Where the private hire vehicle is an estate vehicle it must have a metal luggage guard permanently fitted between the luggage and passenger compartments. The guard must have Licensing Authority approval prior to use. Any items carried in the boot or luggage compartment must be secured."
  4. The rationale for these conditions is to reduce the risks associated with luggage moving forward in the event of a collision or emergency braking. These conditions have been in place for a number of years and were implemented at a time when vehicle manufactures did not often include fitted luggage guards as a matter of course to estate vehicles.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. A number of estate vehicles, when presented for licensing, have failed their compliance test due to not having a metal luggage guard fitted, as required by the current hackney carriage and private hire vehicle conditions.
  2. The vehicles that have failed the compliance did have manufacturer factory fitted luggage guards in place, but these were fabric and as such did not comply with current conditions.
  3. Many manufactures, such as Ford, Mercedes and BMW, do not produce metal luggage guards for their vehicles. Therefore, in order to comply with the current conditions, some licensed vehicle proprietors have to install non-manufacturer approved metal luggage guards.
  4. The National Inspection Standards for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles, produced by the Freight Transport Association, in relation to the storage of luggage states "physical separation is not so much an issue as is the safety of passengers in the event of an accident. The luggage should therefore be secure and prevented from becoming dislodged in an accident in such a manner as may cause injury. Such security can be by means of a sheet or net, which could be anchored to the floor of the luggage area. Clearly if the luggage compartment is not physically separated from the passenger compartment then care will need to be taken so as not to carry any hazardous items such as fuel cans, detergents or other loose items that could leak if they become damaged".
  5. It is proposed to amend condition 21 of the Vale of Glamorgan Conditions for Hackney Carriages and condition 15 of the conditions for Private Hire Vehicles, in light of advancements in vehicle design and construction. These conditions would be replaced with the following:

"Vehicles shall have adequate space for luggage, which shall either be in the form of a separate luggage compartment or an area where luggage can be properly restrained in the event of an accident or emergency stop".

  1. The proposed amendments to the hackney carriage and private hire vehicle conditions will enable proprietors of estate vehicles to use the manufacturer fitted luggage guard, whilst ensuring that luggage is securely restrained.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None. It is not envisaged that this will impact on resources.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the Council may attach to the grant of a licence such conditions as they may consider reasonably necessary.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. As the general public rely on the licensed trade to transport them safely, suitable licence conditions contribute to Outcome 1: "An Inclusive and Safer Vale."

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for decision by the Public Protection Licensing Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Homes and Safe Communities.

Background Papers

Freight Transport Association - National Inspection Standards for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles.

Contact Officer

Daniel Cook, Licensing Policy Officer 01446 709738

Officers Consulted

Richard Price, Lawyer Legal Services 01446 709409

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Environment and Housing