Safeguarding and disability and dementia awareness training for licensed drivers

On 1 April 2016 we introduced a mandatory training course for Poole hackney carriage and private hire taxi drivers incorporating 3 key areas:

  • safeguarding (including Child Sexual Exploitation) 
  • disability awareness
  • dementia awareness

The hackney carriage and private hire trade provides an invaluable role in transporting a diverse range of customers. These passengers include some of our most vulnerable residents and drivers can be critical eyes and ears in the community as they undertake hundreds of journeys on a daily basis. The training therefore will help drivers adopt suitable safety measures for assisting vulnerable passengers. Fundamentally this also includes sign posting to relevant agencies should they have concerns they wish to report.

It is a compulsory requirement for all new hackney carriage and private hire driver applicants to undertake the training before being licensed. In addition it was a compulsory requirement that all existing licensed drivers had undertaken the training by 1 April 2018.

Courses run monthly and there are spaces for up to 12 drivers/new applicants at each session. The training lasts 2 hours and is followed by an assessment of learning on the day. All those who attend and pass the assessment of learning will receive a course certificate. The test comprises of 10 questions and you will need to get at least 8 out of 10 correct to pass.

The cost of the training course is £45 and this is paid when booking your place. Bookings can be made online, you will be able to select a date, reserve your place and pay by credit or debit card. It is recommended that all drivers book their places on this compulsory course at the earliest opportunity to ensure availability at a time and date to suit you.

Lost property left in taxi

It is a condition of the taxi driver's license that any lost property found in Poole licensed vehicles must be handed in within 48 hours.

The items are handed into the Civic Centre office.

The items will be kept for a period of 3 months after which time they will be donated to charity, recycled, disposed of responsibly or it will be returned to the driver who found it, if appropriate.

Report a lost item left in a taxi


We will check if your item has been handed in and if so let you know how to claim it.

If it has not been handed in yet we will make a report and will contact you if the item is found.

Hackney carriage and private hire licences

Licences are issued after applicants have met certain standards and these must continue to be met if they wish to remain licensed.

Unlicensed operators, vehicles and drivers are trading illegally and passengers may not be insured.

Difference between a Hackney carriage and a private hire vehicle

Hackney carriage (taxi)

A vehicle that is available for immediate hire.

In Poole they are either London-style taxis or saloon cars and have:

  • a large roof sign saying "Poole Taxi'
  • stickers with a Borough of Poole logo and "Licensed Taxi" on the front doors.
  • a plate attached to the rear showing the Hackney carriage licence number, vehicle registration mark and the seating capacity

Private hire

These vehicles provide a similar service to taxis, but can only ever be pre-booked through an operator. Private hire vehicles in Poole have:

  • a plate attached to the rear showing the private hire licence number, vehicle registration mark and the seating capacity
  • some vehicles may have the telephone number and name of the operator displayed either on the windscreen, back window or on the rear doors

How to get a licence

Licences are issued to:

The only exception to this licensing requirement is vehicles used for weddings or funerals.

Applications must be returned to the Taxi Licensing officer:

  • Post:

Environmental Services
Unit 1
New Fields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF

Fare tariffs and other charges

We only set fare tariffs and other charges for Hackney carriages (taxis), but most private hire vehicles in Poole are also fitted with a taximeter and charge the same rates.

The taximeter displays the maximum charge payable but drivers are allowed to charge less than the taximeter rate.


If you have a complaint about a Hackney carriage or private hire vehicle you can contact the operator direct or contact the Taxi Licensing Officer.

Give the details (if known) of the drivers badge number, vehicle plate number or registration number to help trace the driver and vehicle.

Taxi ranks

There are 2 principal taxi ranks in Poole.

Shoppers visiting the Dolphin Shopping Centre will find taxis available at 'The George' taxi rank. In addition there is a further 24 hour taxi rank at Poole railway station.

Customers enjoying Poole's night life may also use the evening taxi ranks in Lower High Street by the Slug and Lettuce, on the Quay and in Ashley Cross.

Hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire operators

Executive and airport travel

Page last updated: 03 April 2020
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