Please note this document is made available here as a convenience only. It must not be relied upon for any official purposes. If any official use is perceived, an original copy of this document, complete with all amendments inserted therein, should first be acquired from:
Assistant Commissioner of Police
Public Carriage Office
15 Penton Street
London N1 9PU
Part 1 - Procedure to be followed by manufacturers and owners
Part 2 - Conditions of Fitness
Part 3 - Directions
(i) In this booklet, the term "Assistant Commissioner" means the Assistant Commissioner for the time being appointed by the Secretary of State under the London Cab Order, 1955, to exercise the duties imposed by the London Cab Order, 1934, upon the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.
(ii) The word "approved" in the Conditions of Fitness refers to approved by the Chief Inspecting Officer.
(iii) The Assistant Commissioner's Conditions of Fitness in Part 2 and Directions in Part 3 are laid down or made in accordance with the terms of paragraphs 7 and 14 respectively of the London Cab Order 1934, as amended.
(iv) The Conditions of Fitness in Part 2 are operative from 1 July 1993. Vehicles type approved before this date remain subject to the conditions in force at the time of approval.
(v) The Directions in Part 3 apply to all licensed vehicles.
In accordance with the provisions of paragraph 7 of the London Cab Order, 1934, made by the Secretary of State in pursuance of the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869, no vehicle shall be licensed as a cab unless it is fit for public service and conforms to the requirements in this booklet.
1 New types of motor cab
(1) Before constructing any new type of motor cab, manufacturers are advised to study the Conditions of Fitness set out in Part 2 of this booklet and to send to the Chief Inspecting Qfficer, Public Carriage Office, 15 Penton Street, N1 9PU, dimensioned drawings or blueprints, together with detailed specifications of the proposed vehicle, for advice as to its general suitability for public service in London. It is also advisable to arrange for a preliminary inspection of the vehicle either with or without the body.
(2) In any case, application for the approval of a cab chassis or body must be made in writing to the Public Carriage Office, and must be accompanied by dimensioned drawings or blueprints, together with detailed specifications and any particulars required by the Chief Inspecting Qfficer.
(3) Arrangements must then be made to present the completed chassis, body or vehicle for inspection at the Public Carriage Office. When presented, every facility must be given for the inspection and testing of the vehicle, and a declaration by the manufacturer or other authorised person that the vehicle conforms to the law and is safe for use as a public carriage must be produced, together with a certificate of registration.
(4) Any proposed alterations to the original specification must be submitted to the Public Carriage Office for approval.
2 Cabs of approved types
Cabs of an approved type offered for licensing for the first time must be presented for inspection, by appointment, at the Public Carriage Office. If the vehicle conforms to the approved type, a Certificate of Approval will be issued by the Licensing Authority.
3 Presentation for renewal of licence
(1) Before a cab licence can be renewed, the vehicle must be presented at the Public Carriage Oftice with the Certificate of Approval issued at the initial inspection. If any alterations have been carried out since the last inspection, a statement giving full details of the alterations must be submitted and an appointment must be made for the vehicle to be specially inspected.
(2) Every cab which is in service from 1st Janaury 2000 must be equipped to approved standards in order that wheelchair passengers may be carried.
(1) It must be understood that, although the conditions set out in this booklet have been complied with, approval will be withheld if the Assistant Commissioner is of the opinion that a vehicle is unsuitable for public use. (2) Although the Assistant Commissioner may extend his approval of any particular type of cab to all other cabs conforming to the design of that type, it must be understood that he may withdraw such general approval if, in his opinion, any unsuitable features arise.
N.B.: The following requirements apply to all vehicles licensed in London, including those which have been modified after first registration.
5 General construction
(1) Every new type of cab must comply in all respects with the requirements of The Motor Vehicle (Type Approval) Regulations 1980 and The Motor Vehicle (Type Approval) Regulations (Great Britain) 1984, and in use must comply with The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (C&U). These regulations are amended from time to time and from the 1st January 1993 cover the requirements for EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA).
(2) Cabs offered for type approval must be so constructed as to facilitate the carriage of disabled persons and be capable of accommodating a disabled person in a wheelchair in the passenger compartment, provided the wheelchair fits within the dimensions specified in paragraph 16.
(3) No fittings, other than those approved, may be attached to or carried on the inside or outside of the vehicle.
(1) The steering wheel must be on the offside of the vehicle.
(2) The steering mechanism must comply with the requirements of C&U Regulation 29.
7 Turning circle
(1) The vehicle must be capable of being turned on either lock so as to proceed in the opposite direction without reversing between two vertical parallel planes not more than 8.535 metres apart.
(2) The wheel turning circle kerb to kerb on either lock must be not less than 7.62 metres in diameter.
N.B.: These requirements are essential to ensure the manoeuvrability necessary for a cab in London, e.g. where ranks may be sited in the centre of the road, at hotels and other restricted sites and where passengers hail the cab from the opposite side of.the roadway.
(1) All tyres must comply with the requirements of C & U Regulation 24-27, and be marked "TAXI". Retread tyres must also comply with the British Standards Institution requirement BS.AU144C.
(2) All tyres must have an effective circumference not less than the size marked on the taximeter and will undergo rolling circumference tests to determine their compatibility.
All braking systems must comply with the requirements of C & U Regulation 15-18.
10 Interior lighting
Adequate lighting must be provided for the driver and passengers. Separate lighting controls for both passenger and driver must be provided. In the case of the passenger compartment, an illuminated control switch must be fitted in an approved position. Lighting must also be provided at floor level to each passenger door and be actuated by the opening of the doors.
11 Electrical equipment
Any additional electrical installation to the original equipment must be adequately insulated and be protected by suitable fuses.
12 Fire appliances
An appliance for extinguishing fire must be carried in such a positlon as to be readily available for use and such appliances must be independently certifed that they are manufactured to meet the requirements of BS EN3 1996 and have a minimum fire rating of 5a and 34b.
Any Publlc Carriage Office approved appliance which meets BS 5423 1997 may continue to be carried until it's expiry date has elapsed.
13 Fuel Systems
A device must be provided whereby the supply of fuel to the engine may be immediately cut off. Its situation together with the means of operation and "off" position must be clearly marked on the outside of the vehicle. In the case of an engine powered by LPG or petrol, the device must be visible and readily accessible at all times from outside the vehicle.
14 Exhaust systems
All exhaust systems must comply with the requirements of C & U Regulation 54.
The body must be of the fixed head type with a partially glazed partition separating the passenger from the driver.
The overall width of the vehicle exclusive of driving mirrors must not exceed 1.755 metres.
The overall length must not exceed 4.575 metres.
N.B.: These overall dimensions are essential for determining the size of taxi ranks, other pick-up points and for the free access and flow for other vehicles in London's congested streets.
16 Facilities for the disabled
(1) Every cab which is in service from 1st January 2000 must be equipped to approved standards in order that wheelchair passengers may be carried.
(2) Approved anchorages must be provided for the wheelchair and chairbound disabled person. These anchorages must be either chassis or floor linked and capable of withstanding approved dynamic or static tests. Restraints for wheelchair and occupant must be independent of each other. Anchorages must also be provided for the safe stowage of a wheelchair when not in use, whether folded or otherwise, if carried within the passenger compartment. All anchorages and restraints must be so designed that they do not cause any danger to other passengers.
(3) The door and doorway must be so constructed as to permit an unrestricted opening across the doorway of at least 75cm. The minimum angle of the door when opened must be 90 degrees.
(4) The clear height of the doorway must be not less than 120cm.
(5) Grab handles must be placed at door entrances to assist the elderly and disabled.
(6) The top of the tread for any entrance must be at floor level of the passenger compartment and must not exceed 38cm above ground level when the vehicle is unladen. The outer edge of the floor at each entrance must be fitted with non-slip treads.
(7) The vertical distance between the highest part of the floor and the roof in the passenger compartment must be not less than 1.3 metres.
(8) Where seats are placed facing each other, there must be a minimum space of 42.5cm between any part of the front of a seat and any part of any other seat which faces it, provided adequate foot room is maintained at floor level. Where all seats are placed facing to the front of the vehicle, there must be clear space of at least 66cm in front of every part of each seat squab.
(9) A ramp or ramps for the loading of a wheelchair and occupant must be available at all times for use at the nearside rear passenger door. An adequate locating device must be fitted to ensure that the ramp/ramps do not slip or tilt when in use. Provision must be made for the ramps to be stowed safely when not in use.
17 Passenger capacity
(1) The occasional seats must be at least 40cm in width and the minimum distance from the back of the upholstery to the front edge of the seat must be 35.5cm.
(2) The occasional seats must be so arranged as to rise automatically when not in use. They must be symmetrically placed and at least 4cm apart. When not in use, front seats must not obstruct doorways.
(3) The rear seat dimensions must be adequate to carry two or three adult passengers comfortably in vehicles 1icensed to carry four or five passengers respectively.
(4) Suitable means must be provided to assist persons to rise from the rear seat with particular attention to the needs of the elderly and disabled.
18 Driver's compartment
(1) The driver's compartment must be so designed that the driver has adequate room, can easily reach and quickly operate the controls and give hand signals on the offside of the vehicle.
(2) The controls must be so placed as to allow reasonable access to the driver's seat and, when centrally placed, must be properly protected from contact with luggage.
(3) A serviceable device for demisting the windscreen must be fitted.
(4) Every vehicle must be provided with an approved means of communication between the passenger and the driver. When a sliding window is fitted on the glazed partition, the maximum width of the opening must not exceed 11.5cm.
(1) Windows must be provided at the sides and at the rear.
(2) Passenger door windows must be capable of being opened easily by passengers when seated. The control for opening a door window must be clearly identified to prevent being mistaken for any other control.
20 Heating and ventilation
An adequate heating and ventilation system must be provided for the driver and passengers and means provided for independent control by the driver and passengers.
21 Door fittings
An approved type of automatic door locking device must be fitted to passenger doors. When the vehicle is stationary, the passenger doors must be capable of being readily opened from the inside and outside of the vehicle by one operation of the latch mechanism. The interior door handle must be clearly identified to prevent being mistaken for any other control.
22 Fare table and number plate
A frame must be provided for the fare table and interior number plate and affixed in an approved position. The words "The number of this cab is..." are to be shown above the position of the plate.
23 Floor covering
The flooring of the passenger compartment must be covered with a non-slip material which can easily be cleaned.
Provision must be made for the carrying of luggage.
A taximeter of an approved type must be fitted in an approved position.
26 "Taxi" sign
A "Taxi" sign of an approved pattern, clearly visible both by day and night when the cab is available for hire, must be fitted.
27 Radio apparatus
(1) Where apparatus for the operation of a two-way radio system is fitted to a cab, no part of the apparatus may be fixed in the passenger compartment or in the rear boot compartment if LPG tanks or equipment are situated therein.
(2) Any other radio equipment, either in the passenger or driver compartment, must be approved.
Vehicles, including all fittings, advertisements, etc., must be maintained to approved standards. The vehicles should always be kept clean and in good working order. Vehicles will at all times be subjected to test and inspectfon and should it be found that a vehicle is not belng property maintalned or kept in good working order, a notice will be served on the owner prohibiting him/her from using the vehicle until the defect has been rectified.
29 Certificate of Insurance and form of holder
A current certificate of insurance as required by any Acts or Regulations relating to motor vehicles must be carried in a holder securely affixed to the cab in an approved position. The certificate must also state that the policy complies with the requirements of the London Cab Order, 1934.
(2) Exterior Advertising
Advertising on the exterior of the cab can be either full livery i.e. use of the complete exterior body shell, except the boot lid, as the advertising medium; or the lower panels of the front doors only.
(3) Interior Advertising
Advertisements may only be displayed within the passenger compartment on the base of the occasional seats and along the bulkhead above the passenger/driver partition.
Occasional seat advertisements must be encapsulated in clear non-flammable plastic and bulkhead advertisements must be manufactured in an approved material. (see para. 30(4)).
A bulkhead advertisement may incorporate a dispenser for leaflets directly related to it.
No material may be placed on the passenger driver partition other than notices which may be approved from time to time. (see para. 30(6)).
(4) Advertisements must be of a form that does not become easily soiled or detached.
(5) All materials used in the rnanufacture of, and for the purpose of affixing, advertisements to the cab must be approved (see note (ii) on page 1).
(6) Applications for approval of advertisements must be made in writing to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Public Carriage Office, 15 Penton Street, London N1 9PU.
(7) Further information and guidance on advertising matters can be obtained from the Cab Advertising Approval Committee at the Public Carriage Qffice.
(1) In addition to advertisements displayed in accordance with paragraph 30 above, the official badge or emblem of a motoring organisation which provides genuine round the clock emergency vehicle and recovery services on a London-wide basis may be affixed to the radiator grille. Qnly one such badge or emblem may be so displayed.
(2) No advertisement, badge or emblem, including the stick-on type, is to be exhibited other than is provided for in the directions contained in this paragraph or paragraph 30.