New proposed changes to the joint taxi licensing policy could improve taxi safety and help tackle the climate emergency.

South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council are responsible for licensing private hire (minicab) vehicles, drivers, and operators and hackney carriage (taxi) vehicles and drivers in their respective districts. They want to know what people think of a new draft taxi licensing policy which sets out how they propose to regulate taxis and private hire vehicles.

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The changes include measures to make taxis safer, changes to help tackle the climate emergency – a key priority for both councils, and further alterations which take new licensing legislation and guidance into account.

In the proposed policy it states that a licence may be taken away if the driver is arrested or charged with a serious offence such as, a drug related offence or an offence of a sexual nature. It also states that the councils may offer reduced licence fees for vehicles that produce lower carbon dioxide including electric vehicles.

Councillor Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “When you get into a taxi you want that assurance that both the vehicle and the driver will be safe. We are proposing a number of changes to our taxi licensing policy which prioritises the safety of the public and would mean improved controls over both the vehicles and drivers operating across our districts. We would be very interested to hear what people think of these changes.”

Councillor David Rouane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at South Oxfordshire District Council, added: “Both district councils have prioritised doing all we can to tackle the climate emergency. Even relatively small measures, such as ensuring the suitability of licensed vehicles to help reduce emissions, can still make a noticeable difference and help to improve air quality around the taxi ranks. Whether you are a taxi user, driver or operator, it is important we hear from you before we approve the new policy, so please visit our online consultation and have your say.”

The consultation will run on the council websites until midnight on Wednesday March 24, 2021. To find out more, and to have your say please visit or

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