Welsh Government will not pursue taxi and private hire legislation in new Public Transport Bill

The Welsh Government have confirmed they will not be pursuing legislation in relation to taxi and private hire vehicles in the new Public Transport (Wales) Bill. A government official did however state addressing the outdated taxi and private hire vehicle legislation remains a key priority.

Following consultation on matters relating to the taxi and private hire industry, a government minister said it “has become very clear that there is a considerable amount of work still required before we can bring forward legislation that addresses the improvements needed.”

Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport, went on to add in a statement: “Responses to the White Paper consultation highlighted the wide range of stakeholder views about how the legislation underpinning the operation of the taxi and PHV industry should be improved and those views are not consistent across the industry. “Furthermore, the Department for Transport is proposing to introduce new guidance relating to measures for the protection of children and vulnerable adults when using taxis and private hire vehicles, which would apply in Wales. The Department for Transport is also looking at introducing national minimum standards; national enforcement powers; a national database and some form of out-of-area restrictions. “These would be England only provisions, unless the Welsh Government wanted them extended to Wales and secured the necessary legislative consent motion. The steps being considered by the Department of Transport has also given us cause to reconsider the proposals. “The Welsh Government is still committed to working with the industry to legislate to bring Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle regulation into the 21st Century. However, rather than hold up introduction of our important bus proposals in order to strengthen the taxi elements, the First Minister yesterday announced that we will now decouple the 2 parts of the proposed Bill for this term and work to bring forward a separate bill on taxis early in the next term. “In the meantime I have asked officials to develop a package of short-term measures, using existing legislative powers, to begin to address some of the concerns local authorities, drivers, unions and others have raised. Officials are already working in partnership with the Welsh Local Government Association to develop and deliver these short-term arrangements. A plan, for future delivery of new measures will be developed by late autumn.”

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