Taxi drivers

Sunderland taxi drivers face bans on short shorts, baseball caps and football gear under new plans

The consultation on updated rules and regulations for taxis and private hire vehicles and operators is due to end next week.

Sunderland City Council has held the consultation to update its hackney haul license and private hire policies and is seeking more views on the proposals.

These include the introduction of an ‘enhancement scheme’ for licensed drivers, changes to medical requirements for drivers and changes to vehicle age limit provisions. and emission standards.

Sunderland City Council proposes a dress code for drivers.

Elsewhere, plans include a new requirement for private hire operators to assess the suitability of their reservations and dispatch staff and a change to the existing policy on vehicle window tints.

A proposed new dress code also aims to “enhance and promote the professional image of licensed drivers” as well as “ensure that the safety of the public and drivers is in no way compromised”.

The dress code includes a minimum standard of “proper” footwear, long pants, knee-length shorts, a skirt or dress, and t-shirts that have a full body and short sleeves.

The dress code also defines “unacceptable” clothing for licensed drivers, including sportswear (soccer or rugby tops, tracksuits and beachwear) as well as baseball caps, hoodies and clothing with “offensive” words or graphics.

For executive or limousine rentals, the owner must also ensure that the driver of the vehicle is “properly dressed in a chauffeur’s uniform or ‘business-like’ attire when renting the vehicle.”

There are currently around 1,018 licensed drivers on Wearside who could be affected by the proposed changes.

Licensing bosses confirmed they would respond to complaints from the public about alleged breaches of wider rules and regulations, as well as make their own observations and consider further action.

Sunderland City Council’s Licensing and Regulation Committee recently approved extending the comment period to 5pm on Monday October 10.

Councilor Jill Fletcher, Chair of the Council’s Licensing and Regulation Committee, encourages all residents, businesses and partners to speak up.

Cllr Fletcher said: “Residents and the general public use the city’s taxis and private hire vehicles.

“As a listening board, we consider and consider residents’ views in our decision-making.

“We are proposing changes to how private hire vehicles and taxis are licensed and operated in the city.

“We will do this by seeking to introduce what will be known as the Private Hire Policy Statement and Hackney Transport License.

“This will present in one place information on licensing and regulation of private hire and taxis.

“The main objective is to ensure the safety and well-being of the public (especially children and vulnerable adults), environmental sustainability and to guarantee an efficient private taxi and rental service in the city.

“We would be very interested to hear your views on what you think of trading in Sunderland as we develop and draft these new regulations.”

The work conforms to the Department for Transport’s statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards and will take into account issues raised in consultation with Sunderland drivers and businesses.

Details of the policy and proposed changes to rules and regulations can be found on the Sunderland City Council website via this link.

The final deadline for performances is 5 p.m. on Monday, October 10.