The age of taxi driver applicants in some regions could tumble as proposed licensing guidance maintained its stance that would-be cabbies should be ‘assessed on their merits’ and not their age.
The Government recently opened up a 12-week consultation to update vital Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) guidance supplied to local authorities to better cope with new digital ways of working following the boom in ride-hailing services.
The UK Taxi and PHV industry are currently struggling to recruit new drivers into the sector post-pandemic. Only 22% of taxi drivers are under 40-years old.
One idea mooted to entice new candidates looking to forge a career in the industry is to lower the age of taxi drivers which currently sits at 21-years-old in some regions.
Licences in London will not be granted to anyone under the age of 21 years (article 24 of the London Cab Order 1934). Applications are however accepted from prospective All London taxi drivers from the age of 18 years.
In the Government’s proposed Best Practice Guidance it says: ‘It is not appropriate to set a maximum age limit for drivers. Medical fitness to drive should be regularly assessed.
‘Minimum age limits, beyond the statutory periods for holding a full driver licence, also seem inappropriate. Applicants should be assessed on their merits, and to do otherwise may in any case be contrary to the Equality Act 2010, unless such restrictions can be justified in the public interest.’