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Omnibus (Horse Drawn Carriage) Information


An omnibus is defined as an omnibus, char-a-banc, wagonette, brake, stage coach or other (non-motorised) carriage plying or standing for hire by or used to carry passengers at separate fares to, from or in any part of the prescribed distance subject to specified exceptions.  Omnibuses operate on pre-determined routes.

The Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1889 regulates the licensing of omnibuses.  Section 6 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1889 empowers the Council to make byelaws for further regulation of omnibuses. Under the Road Traffic Act 1930 and the Transport Act 1985 these provisions remain in force for non-motorised vehicles.

An omnibus may not operate without first obtaining a licence for the driver and the vehicle.  However there is no scope in the legislation to lawfully attach conditions to any licences, the only method of regulation is to make byelaws.

Cornwall Council currently has no byelaws in place for the regulation of omnibuses apart from in the Caradon Zone.  However, the Licensing Service is currently looking into bringing into effect appropriate byelaws throughout Cornwall.

A satisfactory horse drawn carriage engineer’s inspection report will be required to be produced to ensure that the carriage and its fittings are safe and in good working condition.

The horses to be used to draw the carriage will be required to be examined by a vet appointed by the Council and a satisfactory veterinary inspector’s report must be provided.

The Council will also need to be satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage driver’s licence and will require an enhanced criminal record check be carried out as well as a satisfactory medical certificate.

Driving a horse drawn carriage is a responsible role where the driver has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the fare-paying public in addition to other road users.  The applicant will need to satisfy the Council that he is competent and qualified to hold a Horse Drawn Hackney Carriage Driving Licence.

Please contact your local licensing office for further information and the appropriate forms.