This document contains the draft Taxi & Private Hire Vehicles Strategy 2020, and Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Vehicle Age and Specification Policy.

Taxi & Private Hire Vehicles Strategy 2020


Derby’s road network is a typical transport network for a small historical city. It is a
vital and precious asset on which most activities in and around the city depends. It
consists of a number of radial roads from the city centre which are connected by
inner and outer ring roads. In many places it is a modern and efficient network,
while in others it is in need of investment.

In a typical day, Derby’s transport network carries around:

  • 660,000 car trips
  • 55,000 bus passenger trips
  • 110,000 people who travel to work
  • 2,548 bus services on a network of 33 routes
  • 38,000 children travelling to 103 schools
  • 18,000 heavy goods vehicle trips that carry goods to and from Derby
  • 10,000 taxi and private hire trips

The Taxi and Private Hire (TPH) fleet are an important part of Derby’s integrated
transport system. They are a useful, often vital, component to completing journeys
and may form part of a more sustainable longer distance multi modal trip or be
used where no convenient alternatives are available. They are demand
responsive, providing 24 hours a day service over 7 days per week, throughout
the year. They can respond to a wide range of needs and are one of the most
flexible elements of the transport system, operating on a fully commercial basis. In
Derby, like most cities, TPH are integral to supporting businesses to thrive by
transporting people and goods.

Whilst the city is well served, taxi and private hire services can be a primary mode
of passenger transport for many people for whom mainstream public transport is
not an option or suitable, due to lack of availability or type. Fully compliant
wheelchair accessible TPH help support many disabled and vulnerable people,
ensuring they remain mobile and live more independent lives.

The TPH also provide a key service within the city’s night time economy,
providing a safe and secure means of travel – particularly after dark. A safe,
clean, modern, thriving, efficient and affordable TPH service contributes to the
local economy and benefits residents, visitors and businesses in Derby.

Councillor Mick Barker Cabinet Member for Governance & Licensing
Richard Antcliff, Director of Public Protection & Streetpride


Strategic Aim

The TPH market locally and nationally is facing tough challenges. Changes to city
centres, night time economy and shopping habits have contributed to a decline in
passenger numbers coupled with declining standards and outdated business

Derby City Council is committed to improving the city’s transport offer whilst
supporting the trade to meet the demands of cleaner air and smarter, safer and
cleaner TPH. We will do this by supporting new business models, independent
financial advice and investment in infrastructure.

We want this strategy to help achieve a high quality model that is:

  • Safer – more modern vehicles, free from defects that provide passengers
    and regulators with confidence. An enhanced taxi booking application that
    allows both passengers and drivers the ability to rate one another and
    geographically track, share and record all journeys. A mandatory cashless
    option with zero commission to both passengers and drivers.
  • Cleaner – we will incentivise the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles
    (ULEV) through investment of charge infrastructure, new dedicated Electric
    Vehicle (EV) only taxi ranks and subsidised licensing fees. We will provide
    access to specialist advice on ‘total cost of ownership’ modelling, a taxi
    ULEV try before you buy scheme and dedicated EV workshops.
  • Modern – newer taxis with the latest technology and smoother journeys.
    Guaranteed to be accessible for all with front facing wheelchair support
    and easy access ramps. Vehicles will be equipped with FREE Wi-Fi,
    contactless card payments and climate control. Whether short or longer
    journeys, an experience that meets traveller’s needs.
  • Focussed – drivers will be expected to provide the highest levels of
    customer care. Assistance getting in and out, help with luggage and
    shopping or ensuring wheelchair users are anchored appropriately shall be
    standard practice. Drivers will be expected to take the most efficient route.

As a Council we will ensure:

  • Standards are maintained and the TPH fleet is regularly checked and remains
    cutting edge in line with technological advancements.
  • Cleanliness, customer service sampling, fair and honest pricing will be
    maintained. The service should be affordable, accessible and safe for anyone
    choosing to use a TPH.
  • We will ensure good levels of compliance and enforcement where necessary,
    working in conjunction with Derbyshire Police and other agencies.
  • Over ranking, traffic and parking violations will be tackled, as well as dedicated
    illegally plying for hire operations and public awareness safety campaigns.
  • Derby City Council will work with trade representatives, private hire operators
    and other key stakeholders to ensure a higher quality service provision for
  • A fair and properly enforced system and consult on a range of policy changes
    to enable to trade to remain resilient and independent.


Like many cities and towns within the UK, Derby is under a legal obligation to
improve its air quality. It is important that proposals and actions contained within this
strategy align with the wider vision for Derby, including present and upcoming
changes to the Council Plan, Local Transport Plan and various policy changes to
improve the Derby experience.

Derby is committed to improving its transport offer and integrating services where
possible through the use trains, buses, park and ride schemes, electric bikes and
TPH. Good quality transport is crucial to delivering economic benefits whilst
contributing to a low carbon transport system and improving people’s accessibility to
services and employment. The measures set out in this strategy will contribute to
Derby’s Transport Vision 2026.

Derby City Council is proposing a package of measures to help address roadside
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) air quality issues in the city. The Council is required by
government to develop a local air quality plan to deliver compliance with the legal
limits for NO2 emissions. In 2015 Derby City Council was identified by DEFRA, along
with four other cities (outside London), to take early action to improve roadside NO2.
There is a requirement to reduce the level of NO2 in the air to below 40μg/m3 as soon
as possible in line with EU and UK statutory regulations. Once the legal limit is
reached, Derby City Council wants to continue to lower the amount of NO2 in the air,
as far as possible.

Derby City Council is proposing to introduce traffic management measures to
manage the flow of traffic in and around Stafford Street including the roads closest to
the exceedance location. These will be supported by wider network management
measures to ensure we get the best possible benefits for the package of measures
and to limit any negative impacts.

We are also continuing to identify mitigation measures to be implemented to help
address the impact of the delivery of the package of measures and to help support
the early uptake of TPH low emission vehicles.

Role of the local authority in regulating the TPH system

As a Unitary Authority, the City Council is the Taxi Licensing Authority within its
administrative boundary. It is the duty of the Council to regulate the quality of service
and safety standards of the TPH fleet. Drivers of both must be licensed. Taxis ply for
work from either a rank or they can be hailed in the street. They can also undertake
pre-booked work. Private hire services can only be pre-booked. The Council seeks to
promote and maintain an adequate supply and coverage of operators and vehicles
across the city.

Current TPH Fleet

There are currently around 270 Taxis licensed within Derby, all of which are diesel
vehicles. These comprise of two main manufacturers; the London Taxi Company
(formerly London Taxi International) and Metrocab. Both of their parent companies
are investing heavily in electric vehicle technology as well as several other
manufacturers that will be available in future years.

There are currently around 1,000 private hire vehicles within Derby, although many
more are licensed elsewhere and take pre-booked sub-contracted work in the city.
There are currently no age restrictions TPH vehicles licensed in Derby. This has led
to an aging fleet, high emission levels and poor overall condition.

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Age and Specification Policy is set
out below.

Taxi Ranks

Taxi ranks are an important element in helping to manage the supply of taxis at busy
locations. They help to reduce congestion and vehicle emissions by limiting the time
drivers spend on the road while waiting to be hired. Ranks are important especially
for disabled passengers as they allow enough time and space for wheelchairs to be
loaded safely. The key issue the City Council faces with ranks is competition for kerb
side space e.g. bus stops, loading and general parking and the management of
them, particularly with incidents of over ranking or idling vehicles. Although there is
no statutory duty to provide taxi rank spaces, the council chooses to implement taxi ranks on the public highway, reasonably close to where people want to travel from,
including key interchange points with bus and rail networks. The Council will seek to
make phased changes to the existing ranks to prioritise for Ultra Low Emission
Vehicles ranks.

Assisting the Uptake of Low Emission Vehicles

The Council were successful in a joint bid for funding with Nottingham City Council
from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). Currently, this money is funding
the installation of 37 electric vehicle charge points in a number of our city centre car

There is also funding available for promotion and business engagement activities,
with events already held in relation to low emission vehicle promotion and awareness
in conjunction with LEVEL (the Low Emission Vehicle Enterprise and Learning
network) and CleanTech Business Ltd.

Recent events include the Air Quality, ULEV Innovations conference and the Derby
Ride & Drive Electric Vehicle Showcase.

Cleaner Taxis Project

The Council were successful in obtaining air quality grant funding to undertake a taxi
fleet emission improvement study and engagement programme, which was
undertaken in 2017/18.

Further funding has been received from the Government’s Early Measures Funding
aimed at delivering:

  • The implementation of various electric vehicle charging hubs in the city for
    hackney carriages
  • Phased introduction of electric hackney carriages only to the existing ranks
  • Changes to the taxis licensing policies to further support the air quality agenda

Working in Partnership

We will work with local councillors, trade representatives, user groups including local
disability forums, public transport operators, business representatives, Derby Live
and Derbyshire Police, amongst others on the contents of this strategy.

Action Plan

The table below sets out the measures and actions necessary to achieve the aims
set out in this strategy.

1. Creation of measures to facilitate the uptake of low emission vehicles
Changes to existing City Centre ranks to prioritise low emission vehicles. This may include permitted access arrangements.
Introduction of other measures to support the air quality agenda including working with the trade to facilitate the early uptake of low emission vehicles, including consideration of options for vehicle lease hire, try before you buy, considering demand for charging facilities and making key stakeholders aware of other grant opportunities.
The designation of taxi ranks within the city as ULEV only.
For newly licenced low emission taxi vehicle licences, the introduction of a ‘Back to Black’ colour policy and ‘Derby Yellow’ wrapped bonnet, roof and boot requirement.
Review of the existing advertising policy for Taxi vehicles.
2. Clean Fleet
A policy will be introduced to require that all licensed vehicles are Zero Emission by 2030.
Target of 25% of Taxi fleet to be ULEV by 2020 and 50% by 2025.
Target for 25% of Private Hire fleet to be ULEV by 2020 and 50% by 2025.
Licences will not be issued for petrol/diesel vehicles older than 5 years that do not meet a minimum Euro 6 standard.
Provision of a mandatory eco driving course as part of obtaining a licence will be considered.
The City Council will actively seek funding to incentivise the trade to renew and upgrade the fleet.
For a limited period of time, consideration will be given to offering vehicle licenses at a reduced rate for those who take up ULEV.
At some point in the future, the Council will consider undertaking an unmet demand survey.
The Council will investigate opportunities to develop a Taxi ULEV leasing scheme following a ‘Try before you buy’ scheme.
The Council will reduce the maximum age of licensed vehicles to 10 years for petrol/diesel and 12 years for ULEV (10 years for ULEV from 2025).
3. Work with neighbouring districts to develop a coherent TPH licensing and enforcement policy
The Council will work with other neighbouring local authorities to develop a licensing framework to which all licensed vehicles will adhere too.
The framework could give the Council and other partner local authorities the right to enforce against licensed vehicles within their boundary, which are not adhering to licensing requirements.
4. Improving customer experience and the services offered by the trade
Develop a code of conduct setting out expected standards of driver and customer behaviour.
Following on from previous work undertaken, the Council will consider implementing a Driver Dress Code, to improve upon Derby’s existing taxi industry reputation by ensuring all relevant licensed drivers adhere to a minimum standard of dress to help promote a smart and professional TPH services for citizens and visitors to Derby.
There will be a requirement of a large photographic name badge to be present in the vehicle to make driver identification easier.
Improved signage in the vehicle to provide better information to passengers and aid drivers.
A complaints number and customer feedback email address will be displayed clearly in all vehicles
A Driver Excellence Award will be implemented in recognition of outstanding customer service – this will focus on drivers who provide quality services for disabled and elderly passengers.
Commencement of a series of TPH related campaigns around disability awareness.
The Council will ensure all new drivers pass an English test before being granted a licence.
5. Safeguarding
Review the existing mandatory safeguarding training requirement and consider the introduction of a requirement to undertake refresher training at periodic intervals.
Driver and vehicle identification will be improved through new driver display cards.
Work will be undertaken with licensed businesses to improve operational safeguarding practices.
Launch a TPH Safety Awareness Campaign in partnership with Derbyshire Police, University of Derby, Derby Live and the BIDS to understanding of the potential dangers of using unlicensed vehicles.
6. Technology
The Council will co-develop and launch a taxi booking app to ensure greater passenger safety, cashless payment and operator quality rating system to drive up standards.
Incentives will be placed around drivers regularly receiving high quality ratings from customer for example increased priority if grants become available for vehicle purchase.
Introduction of a TPH E-Newsletter to improve communication between the City Council and the trade and its patrons.
Mandatory card (contactless) payment will be made available in every Taxi as an alternative to cash.
Each Taxi will be provided with FREE (to driver and passenger) in cab Wi-Fi through a third party supplier.


Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Age and Specification Policy


  1. This policy will have effect from DATE OF POLICY APPROVAL.
  2. No Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle shall be granted a licence unless it meets the Council’s relevant approved vehicle specification. In addition to this, no licence will be granted for a Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence unless that Vehicle is wheelchair accessible.
  3. Derby City Council will refuse to renew a licence for a vehicle for use as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle once the respective upper age limit set out in this policy has been reached.
  4. From 01/01/2025, any vehicle being licensed for the first time as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle will be required to be a Zero Emission Capable Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ZEC ULEV).
  5. From 01/01/2030, no vehicle shall be licensed as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle unless it is a ZEC ULEV


From 01/01/20

  1. Only Private Hire vehicles FOUR (4) years of age and under from the date of first DVLA registration will be considered for first licensing or as a replacement vehicle.
  2. Private Hire vehicles over the age of TEN (10) years from the date of first DVLA registration will ordinarily be REFUSED a licence UNLESS the vehicle is in exceptionally good road-worthy condition and approved for use following an Exceptional Condition Vehicle Check carried out by an authorised officer.
  3. All Private Hire Vehicles will be subject to SIX (6) monthly inspections carried out by an approved Derby City Council testing station.



  1. All applications for replacement Hackney Carriage vehicles will be ordinarily REFUSED unless the vehicle to be licenced is newer than the existing vehicle and is no more than SIX (6) years of age from the date of first DVLA registration.
  2. All Hackney Carriage vehicles will be subject to SIX (6) monthly inspections carried out by an approved Derby City Council testing station.
  3. Hackney Carriage vehicles over the age of TEN (10) years from the date of first DVLA registration will ordinarily be REFUSED a licence UNLESS the vehicle is in exceptionally good road-worthy condition and approved for use following an Exceptional Condition Vehicle Check carried out by an authorised officer.
  4. From DATE OF POLICY APPROVAL, all newly licensed Euro 6* Diesel or ZEC ULEV** Hackney Carriages must have all their exterior bodywork finished in the approved manufacturer’s Black paintwork colour and their bonnet, roof and boot body-wrapped in AA Yellow (Paint Code SV035). Further information about approved manufacturer’s Black paintwork is set out at Appendix A.
  5. From DATE OF POLICY APPROVAL, all newly licensed Euro 6* Diesel or ZEC ULEV** Hackney Carriages must have the approved Derby City Council Coat of Arms transfer fixed to the centre of each front door.

From 01/01/20

  1. All Hackney Carriage vehicles will be required to be a minimum of Euro 6* Diesel or ZEC ULEV**.
  2. No Euro 6 Diesel vehicle will ordinarily be licensed as a hackney carriage if it is over the age of TEN (10) years.
  3. No ZEC ULEV vehicle will ordinarily be licensed as a hackney carriage if it is over the age of TWELVE (12) years.

From 01/01/25

  1. 1. No ZEC ULEV vehicle will ordinarily be licensed as a hackney carriage if it is over the age of TEN (10) years.
  2. Euro 6 diesel relates to the engine AND vehicle both being manufactured after September 2015.
  3. ZEC ULEV definition – emit up to 50g/km CO2 with a minimum of 30 mile emission range. A ZEC Hackney Carriage MUST be petrol if an internal combustion engine is used.

Hackney Carriage Bodywork Colours and Associated Codes

Make Model Paint Colour Paint Code
Nissan Dynamo Metallic Black GN0
Ford Tourneo Panther Black JAYCWWA
Vauxhall Vitaro Midnight Black 92U
Mercedes Vito Obsidian Black 197
LEVC TX Raven Black P43
LTI TX4 (Euro 6) Raven Black P43