Department for Transport (DfT) Ministers ‘hope’ that some of Englands biggest taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing authorities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Sefton, Newcastle and Liverpool will ‘get on board’ with the voluntary NR3 database scheme soon.
The Department for Transport (DfT) published its Statutory Standards for Taxi and Private Hire Licensing back in July 2020. One of the standards advised councils and licensing authorities on the use of the National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations and Refusals (the ‘NR3 database’) to enhance effective due diligence when making licensing decisions.
The database provides details of all taxi and private hire driver licence revocation and refusal decisions taken from 1 January 2018.
Bolton West MP Chris Green asked Ministers in the House of Commons what the Transport Minister was doing to ensure there is better information sharing among councils to deliver safer taxi and private hire services across the country.
Richard Holden MP responded: “My hon. Friend will know that his local council, Bolton, is one of the best at information sharing with respect to taxi driving licences across the country.
“I hope that councils such as Birmingham, Manchester, Sefton, Newcastle and Liverpool will get on board with the voluntary scheme before the mandatory element kicks in soon, because we should not leave people at risk on our services.”
Use of the National Register for Refusals and Revocations (NR3) is recommended in the Department’s Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards which was published in 2020. The Department is monitoring usage of the NR3 and communicates with local authorities on the matter regularly.
The DfT also revealed that Birmingham City Council, who licence 6,280 drivers in the region, have made just 1 NR3 search throughout 2022. The council also failed to included any licensees onto the database for others to search.
Manchester City, Sefton, Newcastle City and Liverpool City Councils all chose to make no searches or add drivers throughout 2022. Manchester City Council activated its NR3 account in August 2022 whereas other authorities listed above had activated accounts from the start of the year.
More than 25,000 drivers are licensed with the five largest licensing authorities making infrequent or no use of NR3.