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Annual statistical survey data used to evaluate local authority taxi guidance uptake, says DfT

Image credit: LEVC

The Department for Transport (DfT) revealed that they use annual statistical survey data to monitor the uptake of guidance produced for local taxi licensing authorities.

As part of a recent parliamentary written question, Dan Carden, the Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, directed a inquiry towards the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the mechanisms in place for overseeing the performance of local taxi licensing authorities across the country. This question puts a spotlight on the Government's strategies for ensuring that the standards and regulations governing taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) services are uniformly and effectively applied.

Responding on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), Minister Guy Opperman shed light on the Government's approach to maintaining oversight of these local authorities. He first reminded Carden that the DfT issues guidance to taxi and PHV licensing bodies in England, aiming to support them in fulfilling their regulatory duties. This guidance is designed to ensure that licensing authorities have a clear framework within which to operate, promoting consistency and fairness in the licensing process.

Opperman then revealed that the DfT employs a systematic method to assess how well this guidance is being adopted and implemented across the board. This evaluation is conducted through an annual statistical survey that gathers data from licensing authorities. The survey serves as a critical tool for the department to gauge the extent to which its guidance is influencing licensing practices, allowing for the identification of areas where improvements might be needed.

Opperman said: “The Government provides guidance to taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authorities in England to assist them in exercising their licensing function.

“The Department for Transport uses its annual statistical survey of licensing authorities to help monitor uptake of the guidance.”

As the sector continues to evolve, particularly with the advent of new technologies and service models, the importance of effective oversight and guidance from central authorities remains paramount. Some industry stakeholders may argue that data shows just a glimpse of the taxi industry, and that direct dialogue with stakeholders, including passengers, drivers, and local licensing bodies, will feed into faster and more tangible improvements in service standards and regulatory compliance.


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