When the new Bexley taxi office was announced a nearby mini-cab office said it was illegal to not use the prefix mini and that planning permission was essential before a carriage licence could be issued. Doubt was thrown on the latter by the carriage office so a check was made with Transport for London. Here is their reply…
I can confirm you are correct in saying the use of the word ‘cab’ or ‘cabs’ is not permitted and does contravene the s.31 1998 Private Hire Act. Any business advertising a cab service whilst holding a PHV Operator Licence will be required to remove any reference to such service immediately. Use of such a word, for instance, ‘cab, ‘cabs’, ‘taxi’ ‘taxis’ or any other word that can be mistaken for it would not be approved by this office.
In regard to your second point I can confirm there has been a recent change in licensing requirements for applicants and operators. One change is that an applicant is now required to provide evidence with all applications that planning permission is in place at the premises applied for.
Essentially, this business is required to show either…
1) Planning Permission has already been granted
2) Planning permission has been applied for
3) A Certificate of Lawfulness is in place or applied for or
4) a letter from the Local Authority confirming the premises does not require planning permission.
So now we know. The original use of ‘Cabs’ was wrong and it will be necessary to persuade Bexley council that planning permission should be given.