Hundreds of industry professionals are expected to gather to discuss and debate the proposals set out for the future of Private Hire Licensing in the UK this week.
The Licensed Private Hire Car Association Roadshow which takes place this Thursday (27th September) will be highlight the key areas of concern from the report from The Task and Finish Group which was released yesterday. (Register for event here).
Recommendations to modernise the licensing regime nationally included capping the number of PHV numbers, restricting where PHV’s can operate, the introduction of CCTV in all licensed vehicles and enhanced DBS checks.
Reaction has been coming in following the publication of the report to the industry.
Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus and Chair of the Urban Transport Group, said; “We have long argued that the legislative framework for taxis and PHVs is outdated and in urgent need of significant reform for reasons of public safety, congestion, consumer protection, air quality and inclusive growth.
“We are pleased therefore that the Task and Finish Group report reflects and endorses all the key recommendations of our Taxi! report of last year. In particular, we welcome the call for a tightening up the licensing regime to prevent a race to the bottom on standards and safety, and powers for authorities to limit numbers of taxis and PHVs if necessary in order to help tackle congestion.”
Jonathan Bray, Director of Urban Transport Group, added; “Taxis and PHV numbers are experiencing exponential growth in many urban areas and have been transformed by new business models and technologies. Yet the legislation which governs the sector is archaic, confusing and contested, and is not in the best interests of those who use taxis, those who drive, or those who have responsibilities for keeping cities moving. We now look to the government to act on these proposals and we look forward to contributing to that process.”
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport commented; “From his first day in office, Sadiq Kahn has been determined to raise standards across London’s taxi and private hire market to ensure everyone gets a safe and reliable service. That’s why, among other things, we’ve increased the number of compliance officers operating in London, and supported tough action from TfL against private hire operators who don’t play by the rules.”
Alexander added; “But we’re restricted in the action we can take because the laws in this area aren’t strong enough. I’m delighted that a group of experts made up of trade union representatives, regulators, politicians and safety campaigners are recommending we get the powers to go further – including putting an end to cross-border hiring, recognising injustices around low pay and exploitation, and giving us the power to cap the number of private hire vehicles.