Taxis are a vital component of the public transport system that provides a door-to-door service which is relied upon by a significant number of users.
For visitors to Craven the journey they make in a licensed vehicle will play a significant part in forming an initial perception of Craven and so our licensed drivers play an important role in the future economic success of the area as a business and visitor destination.
We therefore want to ensure all of our drivers and vehicle owners are complying with the law and are providing good customer care.
If you wish to report an issue about a taxi or private hire driver/vehicle, please provide as much detail as possible.
The Licensing Department will investigate complaints about taxis licensed by Craven District Council, which includes areas such as Skipton, Settle and Crosshills.
Useful information to help us deal with your complaint:
- Your name and address and a daytime telephone number
- The vehicle registration or plate number
- A full description of the issue/incident and any witnesses
- The date, time and location where the incident happened or your journey details
- A description of the driver and the driver's badge number (if known)
- Report as much detail as you can about the vehicle type, colour and any distinguishing features.
Will my complaint be kept confidential?
Our policy is to keep the personal information that we have about you such as your name and address, confidential. However when dealing with complaints this information may have to be disclosed.
If a case goes to the Court, while not normally required, you might need to give evidence. However, many cases are resolved informally before legal action is taken.
What is a plate number?
All licensed taxis (hackney carriages) will have a white rear plate with a unique number, this is also displayed on the side door stickers.
A private hire vehicle will also have distinctive red plate on the rear with a unique number.
I use a wheelchair - can a driver refuse to take me?
It's a criminal offence for drivers of designated taxis and specified private hire vehicles to refuse to carry passengers in wheelchairs; to fail to provide them with appropriate assistance or to charge them extra. However, this does not apply to drivers who have a valid medical exemption certificate and are displaying a valid exemption notice in their vehicle.
All drivers must explain the reason why they can't take you and should help you to find a vehicle that can transport you.
Fare evasion - what happens if someone doesn't pay their fare?
Licensing officers and the police work closely with drivers to promote the safety of both drivers and passengers. Licensed drivers are encouraged to report all incidents of non-payment and abuse to the police who will fully investigate all cases and take positive action wherever possible.
Entering a licensed vehicle without sufficient funds to pay for the journey, intending to avoid payment or attempting to leave without payment, may be an offence which can lead to prosecution.
Taxi drivers are entitled to request payment or part payment in advance. Drivers provide a valued service, transporting people around the district and are entitled to receive the correct fare.
Should I report an incident if I have also reported it to the police?
Yes. Whilst we work closely with partner agencies such as the police, it is important to raise issues with Craven District Council, even if the police are unable to progress a complaint. We will still be able to carry out our own investigation and can often progress complaints where the police have been unable to. This is because the police have to be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an incident has taken place. We are only required to judge on the balance of probabilities that an incident has occurred.
Dealing with complaints - what happens next?
In the first instance we will speak to the driver to discuss the complaint. The level of seriousness of the complaint and the driver's licensing history will impact on how we deal with a complaint. If appropriate we will verbally remind the driver of their duty to comply with relevant conditions of their licence and relevant laws. Where it is required we may decide to refer the matter to the Licensing Appeals Sub-Committee which is made up of three councillors from the Licensing Committee. Upon hearing all the information, the Sub-Committee may subsequently decide to take no action; issue a warning; suspend the driver or revoke the licence.
Complaints about dangerous taxi driving
If your report is regarding bad/dangerous driving or road traffic offences committed by taxi drivers you may wish to also report the matter to North Yorkshire Police by:
- email: email@example.com
- telephone: 101
They will require as much information as possible about the vehicle, as detailed above.