Association reveals agency system for UK industry

A unique online booking system has been revealed by the National Limousine and Chauffeur Association allowing it to act as a travel agency for the industry.

Following a recent announcement by the Traffic Commissioner, around a hundred operators have gathered in Birmingham to find out how the association will help its members comply with new legislation, which states any vehicle designed to carry eight passengers or less will soon have to be licensed by local authorities.

NLCA Legislation Officer, Bill Bowling at the Birmingham meeting.

One of the measures being introduced by the association is a unique computerised system which members can input all their bookings for a £1 charge per job. According to the NLCA this allows businesses to comply with the new legislation and operate vehicles which some local authorities will not licence.

Around 50% of local authorities still do not recognise the limousine industry, and many still have strict rules regarding chauffeur and private hire vehicles. Under the new rules announced by the Traffic Commissioner in October, many businesses would have to close if local authorities did not licence many of the vehicles being operated within the UK.

The system designed by industry web guru, Eddie Dillon, has been set up so members will be able to receive booking requests on the move via a mobile device and confirm and update orders with just a few clicks.

Chairman of the NLCA, Peter Wright commented; “Many operators throughout the country are still telling me they are considering closing their businesses because of the announcement – but this simply does not need to happen. If they comply with sections one and two of the road traffic act, they can easily carry on trading by being a NLCA member and using the new booking system.”

Other benefits include a full audit trail allowing operators to provide VOSA with a full background independent report of the companies bookings, and it will also act as a driver reference sheet for each job. Following a recent lengthy testing period, the system is now fully operational and is being used by a number of current members.

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