The Law Commission has called for councils to be given greater powers over taxi licensing and regulation of private hire vehicles as part of plans to boost safety and create national standards.
The Local Government Association (LGA) licensing spokesman Cllr Tony Page welcomed the recommendations. He indicated that he was pleased that the Law Commission had listened to the concerns. Laws regulating taxi and private hire vehicles were outdated needed reform. Underlining the point that taxi and private hire vehicles are an essential means of transport for many, especially older or disabled people, and all passengers have the right to expect the vehicle and its driver meet safety standards.
The proposals include introducing a national minimum safety standard, which could be improved or tailored by council and licensing authorities, which would provide the flexibility for councils to adapt to changes in technology or local conditions whilst ensuring the safety of all passengers.
People travelling in any a taxi vehicle should be confident that both the driver and the car have passed council checks. Measures like powers to seize unsafe vehicles or those used for taxi touting would help councils target offending drivers.
THE LGA maintains that it is imperative the Government accepts the Law Commission’s proposals and withdraw plans to relax taxi licensing rules inserted into the Deregulation Bill, which would represent one of the most significant amendments to the laws of taxi licensing in recent years.