A report revealed today has called for the introduction of National Minimum Standards to ensure greater safety standards across every authority in England.
The Task and Finish Group, brought together last year by the then Minister of State for Transport the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP, was created to recommend changes to Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle guidelines nationally to create a safer and more robust system.
The report published by the Chairman of the Task and Finish Group, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, highlights a wide range of areas which the committee raised to be the main inconsistencies in the current regime.
Some of the recommendations include capping the number of PHV numbers, restricting where PHV’s can operate, the introduction of CCTV in all licensed vehicles and enhanced DBS checks.
Other areas covered include are English tests, increasing the numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles and more laws surrounding low pay and driver working hours.
Steve Wright, Chairman of the Licensed Private Hire Car Association commented; “We feel that for certain recommendations like English Language, enhanced DBS and barred lists checks, use of the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) database, that an absolute standard should be put in place. This would ensure that inconsistency, which has traditionally been the root cause of licensing problems, is eradicated.”
Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq said; “In scoping the work together we were determined, above all, to chart a future which ensured public safety for all, a working environment for those in the trade which guaranteed fair working conditions and whilst maintaining a competitive, dynamic market, preserve the character, integrity and aesthetics of this time-honoured trade.
He concluded; “As my task is now complete, the onus falls to the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, MP and his Ministers, in particular Nusrat Ghani, and Parliamentarians to take the ideas of the report further and to begin to craft the legislation that it will, in some instances, require.”
The report will be discussed and views from the industry taken at the forthcoming LPHCA Roadshow at the Marriott Heathrow on Thursday 27th September. Click here to book your attendance.