Taxi Licence Consultation

We have a limit on the number of hackney carriage licences we issue. The limit is currently 71.

We want to know whether we should keep this limit of 71, or whether we should have no limit at all on the number of licences we issue.

What is a hackney carriage?

Hackney Carriages, also known as taxis, are the vehicles that stand on our taxi ranks or can be hailed on the street. They are usually red in colour. They are mainly saloon type vehicles, although 5 out of the 71 vehicles must be wheechair accessible. 

Some of our vehicles also work with licensed private hire companies and are available to pre-book.

Section 16 of the Transport Act 1985 allows us to set a limit on the number of hackney carriage licences we issue.

However, guidance from the Department for Transport (DFT) - Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing: Best Practice Guidance 2010 - says that setting restrictions isn't good practice. Their advice is that we should not have a limit on the number of licences we issue, unless we can show that removing the limit would be detrimental to our customers. Most local authorities do not impose limits.

Keeping the 71 limit

If we keep to the limit of 71, we have to do a survey called an unmet demand survey. This will look at whether we have the right number of vehicles and whether there is any demand that we are not meeting. An example of this would be the public having to wait a long time to get a taxi from a taxi rank. The survey is usually paid for by the hackney carriage trade, and we consult them separately.

Getting rid of the limit

If we did get rid of the limit, and issue more licences, we would only issue them to vehicles that are wheelchair accessible. This would increase the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles we have available. Existing licence holders would not be affected, and would still be able to licence saloon and multi-purpose vehicles.

How do we decide?

We will take into account things like:

  • financial impact
  • the potential of reduced custom for existing licence holders
  • congestion on the hackney carriage stands and roads
  • benefits for the travelling public
  • the opportunity for others to become involved in the trade and secure a livelihood
  • the costs relating to the survey allocating a small number of additional licences and defending any appeals against refusals to grant licences

We want to know what you think

We want to hear your views - do we have enough taxis in Pendle? Or is there a shortage? Are there enough wheelchair accessible vehicles?

Email with your comments by Friday 8 July 2022.

If you would like to read this in an alternative language, contact