A new policy has been introduced to allow taxis to be licensed for an extended period of time.

Nottingham City Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee has approved a revised Age and Specification policy following a period of public consultation. This came into effect on Monday 1 April.

The current agreement allows a private-hire vehicle to be initially licensed up to four years old, and six years for a hackney carriage. Both types can continue to be licensed until they reach ten years from the date of first registration.

In addition, private-hire vehicles up to three years old and hackney carriages up to five years old must have yearly enhanced MOTs and then are subject to further six-monthly checks.

The revised policy will allow private-hire vehicles and hackney carriages to be initially licensed up to ten years old and then continue to be licensed, if required, up to 15 years of age.

Private-hire will now have annual enhanced MOTs up to ten years of age – 11 years if they are fully electric – and then six-monthly additional mechanical checks.

Hackney carriages, meanwhile, will have an annual enhanced MOT up 11 years of age, with the twice-yearly checks.

Public feedback from the consultation supported proposals to extend the age limits of taxis and these were taken into consideration by the committee.

Councillor Audrey Dinnall, Chair of Nottingham City Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, said: “We’ve listened to taxi drivers in Nottingham and these changes, supported by a public consultation, have been introduced because we understand the pressures felt by the trade in recovering from the pandemic, the national cost-of-living crisis and changes to customer demand.”

Regular multi-agency enforcement operations are conducted across Nottingham and vehicles are also subject to spot checks by council officers. The driver of any vehicle found to have defects that affect public safety may have their licences suspended.

The council’s current Age and Specification Policy was adopted in December 2017 with various requirements to be implemented over a range of dates up to 1 January 2030.

It was felt appropriate to review the document in light of different circumstances since it was first adopted, to address changes in the market, and to reflect alterations to national guidance and policy.

Councillor Sajid Mohammed, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re working with partners and stakeholders to support and promote the taxi trade, making it as resilient as possible.

“It’s an industry which provides close to 3,000 jobs in our city and it’s right that we work with drivers and taxi firms to show that this is a safe and convenient mode of transport to get around Nottingham.

“We hope that this policy change will provide further reassurance to the public around the vigorous and frequent checks that licensed vehicles are subjected to, while at the same time encouraging more drivers to register with Nottingham City Council.

“This benefits everyone because when drivers are licensed with us we can provide that direct support and, at the same time, reassure customers that the vehicles they get into are safe and maintained to the highest standards.”

Hackney driver Amjid Hussain said: “We, as the local trade, welcome these licensing changes. They were necessary to bring us in line with the taxi industry up and down the country.

“It would not have been possible without the relevant departments working vigorously to make it happen, so I’d also like to thank the council officers and the councillors involved.”

Pictured are (from left) Nick Burns, Nottingham City Council’s Licensing and Policy Manager; councillors Dinnall and Mohammed; and local taxi drivers Mahmood Ahmed and Amir Majeed.