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Licensed taxis must offer card payment

Need a cab? No cash? Not a problem any more. From now all licensed taxis in Chelmsford must take card payments as a condition of their licence.

Licensing Officer Presents Driver With Identification

For anyone needing a cab, finding they have no cash to get home can be a distressing experience. A safe taxi service is key to Chelmsford Council’s commitment to making the streets safer, and the licensing team has been working with taxi drivers to continuously improve the great local service they provide. Taking electronic payment is an essential step in reducing risk for people out and about, especially at night.

The licensing team at Chelmsford Council issues some 200 hackney carriage licences, which must be renewed annually. As part of the routine, to maintain a high standard drivers must complete a full day of training followed by an exam as well as a geographical knowledge test.

This year, starting from April, the licensing team introduced a mandatory requirement for drivers to have the facilities to take electronic payments.

“From now on, every licensed taxi proprietor and private hire operator must have a working card reader or be able to take a payment electronically. We’ve been checking to make sure they’re set up and ready to take all forms of payments. The taxi will display a sticker to show this.”

Daniel Winter, licensing officer

“Licensing is integral to public safety and contributes to keeping our city and the community safe.

“For the night-time economy and business to flourish, people need a reliable, safe taxi service, and that was the reason for the added licence condition. This move is a vital step in protecting vulnerable members of our society. We will take a hard line if we establish non-compliance.”

Nigel Dermott, licensing lead officer

“I’m proud to show that I’ve passed all the requirements to be able to hold a licence from Chelmsford Council. I think the ability to pay their fare electronically will be a great benefit for my customers.”

Taxi driver Kalimdad, who was at Chelmer Valley Park and Ride to receive a badge demonstrating the validity of his taxi driver’s licence. Kalimdad received his badge from Daniel, while Nigel was on hand to place the sticker in the taxi window.

You can find out more about taxi licensing in Chelmsford and the work on our Safer Streets initiative on the council website.

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Julie Weight
Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.