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Taxi ranks and private hire operators

Request a taxi rank

Taxi ranks are located adjacent to railway, bus and coach stations, and major attractions, including late-night venues, where a consistent demand for the service is apparent at specific times of the day or night.

Ranks should be sited so that passengers can board or alight from the taxi onto the footway on the nearside of the vehicle in safety. However, in exceptional circumstances, a Rank can be established so that passengers board and alight on the off-side of the vehicle. This possibility is likely to arise where there are two rows of a taxi rank each adjacent to a footway. For wheelchair access, passengers will need to utilise ranks where access to taxis is from the nearside.

Whilst the Council can establish a taxi rank we have no powers to insist that the licensed taxi trade provide a service at the rank as they may lawfully engage in other types of service provision e.g. telephone bookings and on-street hailing.

Map showing Taxi Ranks in Bedford Town Centre (PDF)

In addition, the Council operates a Taxi Marshal scheme in Bedford High Street at the High Street Taxi Ranks mentioned above and the lay-bys outside of ‘Debenhams’ and ‘Laura Ashley’ which are reserved for Private Hire Pick-ups.

Request a private hire operator taxi

Private Hire Operators are the business people or companies who operate services that in London would be called ‘minicabs’. These services are a car with a driver that you book in advance through visiting their office, telephoning their base etc. The operator provides the business that you book your journey with and who then arranges to despatch a licensed car and licensed driver to take you on the pre-booked journey. Private Hire Services are used by a range of people for a range of different reasons. The vehicles used by Operators range in size and may be licensed for 4-8 passengers. They may also have vehicles that can carry passengers in wheelchairs.

Some Private Hire Operators may provide specialist services (such as chauffer services for large businesses, specialist transport services for those with particular needs etc) while others will provide services of a more general nature.

Each booking for a journey is a contract between the person making the booking and the Private Hire Operator. As such, if there are issues around when a vehicle arrived for a booking or how much the charge was for the journey they should be addressed by the Operator and the person who made the booking. Bedford Borough Council encourages all Private Hire Operators to have procedures in place to consider complaints against them.

Obtain a private hire operator’s licence

To obtain a Private Hire Operator’s Licence to operate within Bedford Borough, the individual or company must apply to the Borough Council. The Council may grant a Licence and, for those who are licensed, it can suspend/revoke a Licence in particular circumstances.

Licensed Private Hire Operators must comply with conditions attached to their Licence. If you are not sure whether someone is licensed as an Operator or whether they are complying with conditions of their Licence, please contact the Registration & Administration Unit’s Licensing Service.

Further information

Please use the links on this page for more information on these areas of licensing.

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