Overhaul of cab licensing in Winchester imminent after cross-bordering cabbie jailed for sex attack

Council chiefs in Winchester are looking to make a plethora of changes to the way taxi and private hire services are regulated in the city after a woman was sexually assaulted by a driver operating in the area despite having a license issued by Wolverhampton council.

As reported by TaxiPoint on Febuary 14, Ferham Khan, 29, of Derby Road, Southampton, was jailed last month for the attack.

Khan was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment at Southampton Crown Court for the attack, which took place at The Broadway in September 2017.

Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environment and chairman of the council’s traffic and parking committee, revealed the plans to overhaul the system, which has seen Winchester council raise the issue of cross-border licensing with City of Wolverhampton council previously.

It was revealed in the Southern Daily Echo that Cllr Warwick has mooted that specific, coloured liveries for all Winchester licensed taxis could be adopted, emulating a scheme used by Southampton City Council. Southampton City Council decree that all licensed taxis in their licensing area must be painted white, while all other licensed taxis in the city, such as private hire – which have to be pre-booked – must not be white. The changes by Winchester City Council also include mandatory classroom-based safeguarding training for all drivers licensed by the City Council. Leader Cllr Caroline Horrill also said she was lobbying Wolverhampton council and the government to stop a legal loophole allowing drivers to be licensed by local authority, but work in another part of the country.

City of Wolverhampton Council have been highlighted on numerous occasions in regard to cross-border hiring and their licensing regime, with accusations that they operate a less comprehensive approach to licensing, in particular the speed at which licenses are issued. 

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