A host of MP’s have called for government action following the recent report published highlighting the urgent reform into the taxi and private hire industry in England and Wales. Labour MP and All Party Parliamentary Group Chairman Wes Streeting has sent a public letter to Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani MP which has been supported by no less than 25 other MP’s from all political parties. The letter asks for government to act upon the recommendations made in the report “quickly and in full”. Wes Streeting goes on to say in the letter: “Licensing authorities up and down the country and taxi drivers themselves are increasingly concerned about the state of current licensing regulation. It is essential that the current system is overhauled to better protect the public and safeguard the future of the taxi trade.”
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner had earlier this month brought debate to Parliament demanding quick reform following the publication created by the Department for Transport detailing reform across a taxi and private hire industry.
The task force group report calls for several changes on a number of topics within the industry. These include a national database of licence refusals, calls for national minimum standards for licensing across the country which can be built on locally, and CCTV in every taxi and private hire vehicle. Plus also definitive definitions on plying for hire and cross-border. Mr Zeichner said at the time: “This powerful report calls for legislation to update regulation and licensing of taxi and private hire vehicles, and it calls for it quickly. Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, the group chair, underlines this in his introduction, stating that “undue delay would risk public safety“. This again proves the need for more robust standards in licensing, as my Private Member’s Bill would have provided.