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CROSS-BORDER: Local PHV user complains as out-of-area driver did ‘NOT KNOW WHERE HE WAS GOING’

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

‘There is no law that prevents this’ says council after receiving a complaint from a local man concerned about an out-of-area private hire vehicle (PHV) driver ‘not knowing where he was going’.

According to Teesside Live, Shane Bowen contacted Redcar and Cleveland Council after being picked up by a PHV displaying a Wolverhampton City Council licensing plate. The frustrated passenger said the driver “didn’t know where he was going and had very little knowledge of the area”.

Bowen went on to add: “Surely this is a safety issue and could lead to all kinds of problems in an emergency situation? What if a vulnerable person was stranded somewhere remote and needed a taxi urgently, how would the taxi driver locate them?”

A spokesperson for Redcar and Cleveland Council said: “It is not uncommon for taxi drivers to be operating in different areas to where they were licensed. There is no law that prevents this.”

One of the most contentious topics within the taxi and PHV industry remains the management of ‘cross border hiring’.

Cross border hiring is a common term used to describe when a taxi is lawfully used for PHV purposes in a district outside which it has been licensed to operate. Cross border is also used when a PHV in one district picks up a passenger from another district. This is legal, provided that the driver, vehicle, and operator are all licensed by the first district; or that the operator sub-contracts the booking to an operator licensed in another council area. This practice has become increasingly commonplace with the growth of app-based operator models.

The big issue attached to cross border is the disparities in conditions on licences; a prospective driver in one council district may apply to be licensed as a driver in another district because there are lower standards in driver testing, cheaper licence fees or less rigorous/fewer pre-licence checks.


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