Urban Transport Group welcomes recommendations to overhaul taxi and private hire vehicle legislation

The Urban Transport Group has today welcomed a report which calls for an overhaul of legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs).

The report, carried out by the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing, on behalf of the Department for Transport, said legislation should be “urgently revised to provide a safe, clear and up to date structure” to regulate taxis and PHVs.

Among the sweeping recommendations, are calls for local authorities to be able to set a cap on the number of taxi and PHVs they license, to help solve challenges around congestion, air quality and parking, and for PHV journeys to be regulated so that they start and/or end within the area for which the driver, vehicle and operator are licensed.

The Urban Transport Group represents the seven strategic transport bodies which between them serve more than twenty million people in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, London, Sheffield City Region, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. The Urban Transport Group is also a wider professional network with associate members in Strathclyde, Bristol and the West of England, Tees Valley and Nottingham.  Responding to the report, 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and Chair of the Urban Transport Group, said: “We have long argued that the legislative framework for taxis and PHVs is outdated and in urgent need of significant reform for reasons of public safety, congestion, consumer protection, air quality and inclusive growth.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.” 

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