Newsletter December 2014
At the full Council Meeting 16.10.14 at the St Georges Centre, Chatham, some 200 drivers turned up at this Council meeting, there was standing room only - first time ever at a full Council meeting. The drivers present were able to witness an all party vote to support the MLTDA on their fight against 'out of town taxis' working in our area, we will now have to wait & see the outcome of this meeting. Following on from the full Council meeting held on 16.10.14, the MLTDA held a further meeting on 20.10.14 with the shadow transport minister, Mary Creagh, we explained our definition of 'cross border hiring' & of how the trade see it. Mary Creagh has taken our comments on board & we wait with bated breath for the outcome of this meeting.
On 18.11.12 The MLTDA were invited to attend the licensing panel committee meeting, we thought the invite was to listen to the subject of 'out of town taxis' working in Medway but we were invited to speak about our concerns on the subject. The licensing department manager has drawn up a policy that she would like to introduce to eliminate the 'out of town taxis' working in Medway. The licensing panel committee were 100% behind the licensing department manager's policy & the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire trade, at this point the MLTDA were invited to speak of our concerns to the licensing panel committee. The outcome of this very constructive meeting was to recommend that is be passed to Medway Council legal department to ensure the policy is legally binding & cannot be challenged in the courts of law. In the meantime we will continue to lobby councillors & licensing. As soon as we have any further news we will let you all know.
BUS STATION (CHATHAM) CODE OF CONDUCT
It has been bought to the MLTDA attention about Hackney Carriages & Private Hire vehicles speeding through the bus station & Waterfront Way, can we please remind you all, that the speed limit is a maximum speed limit of 20mph, we are being monitored to this code of conduct, if we continue to abuse this, we will lose the privilege of using this route. AGAIN we remind you all about dropping off/picking up in Chatham bus station & Waterfront Way, picking up/dropping off ONLY in Military Road, outside the Pentagon/Co-op bank, Enforcement might be taken up, with either fines or banning individuals who continue to ignore the code of conduct.
Association members need to have their email addresses & phone numbers kept update with the secretary so you can be kept up to date with any news.
Highways are looking to remove some of our parking spaces, reason - more public spaces are needed, we are appealing against the loss of any spaces on Gillingham rank.
When completing your DVLA application for renewal of your Hackney/Private Hire licence, can you please make sure your signature matches the signature on your driving licence. As DVLA will not accept your application & it will be returned to you & hold up the council processing your renewal application. This is DVLA policy not the council.
The Christmas tariffs are on the MLTDA website, (www.mltda.co.uk) this can be printed if you wish to display this in your vehicle.
The MLTDA would like to take this opportunity the wish everyone a Happy Christmas & a very prosperous New Year for 2015.
*The MLTDA has re-vamped their web page & brought it into the 21st century, it can be downloaded on android & apple devices please look at it & forward any feedback to the secretary.
*Deregulation Bill/Law Commission
The MLTDA have taken this issue to the highest level we can with our local MP Rehman Chishti.
This is now in the hands of Central Government to decide if this is what they want or otherwise. The Deregulation Bill has now had 2 readings in The House of Lords & now it has got to the committee stage to be debated on.
The committee is yet to set a date for the debate.
The Law Commission report will not be actioned on until after the next general election, as we understand at this time of going to print.
*Reminder D.B.S certificate
When renewing your hackney/private hire driver’s licence, only you will receive the D.B.S certificate, this will be sent to your address, you must present this to the council before they release your licence. If all your required documents & paperwork are sent to the council before your licence expires, you are still able to drive your hackney/private hire vehicle.
*The seat belt law, updated 30 October 2006
Children up to 3 years old must use a child restraint. However, if no such restraint is available in a licensed Taxi or Private Hire vehicle, the child may travel unrestrained.
The driver is still responsible.
A child who is older than 3 years but less than 14 years, must wear the adult seat belt if no child restraints are available in a licensed Taxi or Private Hire vehicle.
The licensed driver is responsible.
Passengers aged 14 years and over, must wear a seat belt.
The passenger is responsible.
We hope this will answer the drivers enquiries about the seat belt law, that we have received
*Drivers have been asking, the age of a child travelling alone in a taxi.
Leaving home to school contracts to one side, there are no restrictions in place. If the parents are happy for the drivers to take their children to school then there is no issue for us. (Remember that all our licensed drivers have been vetted)
It really is down to whether the driver feels comfortable with this, but if the driver refused the fare I would be interested to know why?
*If you are Licensed 4 Seater & are approached by 4 adults & a baby in arms you cannot take them, you will be breaking the law & your insurance will be invalid. The same applies to multi-seaters. I.e 4/6/8 Seater = 4/6/8 passengers
When the new yellow tariff card was amended, the MLTDA requested that the section for 'children under the age of 3 travel free' in multi-seaters be removed & now the multi-seaters can charge £1.50 for extra passengers over the 4 passengers regardless of age.
*There have been a few 'loading bay' drop offs lately in Chatham Bus Station, a gentle reminder that you are not allowed to stop anywhere within the boundary for pick-up/drop-off. The only place to pick-up/drop-off is in military road outside the pentagon.
*With regard to the lighting in the Pentagon Taxi rank, the appropriate department are aware the lights are out & they are investigating with a view to replacing them with LEDs.
Montgomery Road (Hospital entrance)
1 day road closure
Thur 21/08/14 ~ 20.00 ~ 05.30
Canterbury Street Gillingham Road
2 days road Closure
Sat 06/09/14 Sun 07/09/14
The MLTDA are being asked by members to review the tariffs. When taking into account which way to vote, can you please take into consideration that our last increase was in 2008. Members only can vote on the tariff reviews, you will have to put your hackney/private hire driver number on the voting form so it can be checked against the membership list. We would like any feedback via our MLTDA representatives.
The MLTDA are still heavily involved in meetings within The Council with all relevant departments, I.e enforcement, license admin, parking/highways, the Integrated Transport team & any other department we need to contact. We also have a meeting arranged for customer service complaints.
*New Rochester Station
After seeing the plans for the new Rochester Station forecourt layout & making our comments known regarding the layout, we have now been advised the plans for the Station forecourt have been revised & that our comments have been taken on board. We are waiting to see the revised plans.
Thank you for taking time to read this
Helen (MLTDA secretary)