Taxi licensing applications: fixing complexity, inefficiency and risk

Posted by Digital Gateshead

After a frantic few months brainstorming ideas and writing applications, we're thrilled to announce that our Local Digital Fund bid has been successful. 

Now that the wait is over, we can't wait to start working alongside our neighbours Sunderland and Northumberland on what will be a challenging but rewarding project. 

The project

The discovery project will focus on fixing complexity, inefficiency and risk in taxi licensing applications - something we think can have a real impact both regionally and nationally. 

We're hoping that through detailed research with both internal and external users, we can help make the process less time consuming, paper-based and repetitive.

We also want to make sure we have better ways of ensuring public safety, whether that be through quicker decision making or easier ways to share information with other authorities.

Overall, we want to change the way we invest in technology, share expertise and ensure the public are receiving the best quality digital services.

The aims

We want to deliver this project using an agile approach, which we think will help us explore a range of digital solutions. On a broader scale, our main objectives are to:

  • identify our users and their needs
  • understand whether people want a digital solution
  • establish what benefits a solution could bring (improved safety, efficiency and user experience)
  • decide whether an alpha project is achievable
  • learn new ways of working that we can re-use in future projects


As well staff from Gateshead, Sunderland and Northumberland - we will be procuring a specialist agency from the digital marketplace. Once we've appointed a partner, we'll get the ball rolling straight away to give us the best chance of hitting the deadline of 31 March 2019. 

Below is an outline of how the project will run.


December 2018

  • Run the project kick-off meeting
  • Establish a project team
  • Appoint a specialist agency

January 2019

  • Start gathering information
  • Begin first round of user research
  • Attend GDS training

February 2019

  • User research show and tell (1)
  • Plan and start round two of user research

March 2019

  • User research show and tell (2)
  • Analyse findings
  • Write up the business case
  • Final show and tell
  • Share findings


Next steps

We're off to London! We will be heading south for the Local Digital Fund kick off workshop next week before heading back north to start the procurement of a digital specialist.

We will also be taking advantage of the GDS training sessions in the new year, with a number of team members from all three authorities signed up for the Agile for Teams course in Newcastle.

It's time for the hard work to begin...


Next: Taxi Licensing: Show and tell (1)

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