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CROSS-BORDER PETITION: Blackpool taxi drivers urging cabbies nationwide to support action to change controversial rule

Taxi drivers in Blackpool are leading a charge for legislative change, urging colleagues nationwide to support a petition aimed at overhauling cross-border hiring laws.

The petition, which has already garnered 490 signatures, proposes that taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) should be licensed in the area where a journey starts or finishes to accept a booking.

Cross-border hiring is the practice that currently allows PHV drivers licensed in one local authority to operate across other areas without the need for additional local licences. This practice means that a driver licensed in one city can legally take bookings and complete journeys in another, often bypassing stricter local regulations designed to ensure passenger safety and service quality.

This system creates significant challenges for local authorities. It dilutes the effectiveness of regional regulations, making it difficult to enforce safety standards and compliance. Local taxi drivers argue this leads to unfair competition, as drivers from areas with less stringent requirements can operate in their jurisdiction, potentially offering lower fares due to lower overheads.

Moreover, the practice undermines public confidence in the local taxi system. Passengers may be served by drivers who are not familiar with the area, have not been vetted by local standards, or are operating vehicles that have not been inspected locally. This inconsistency can lead to a decline in service quality and a potential increase in safety risks.

The petition's backers argue that by requiring a taxi or PHV to be licensed in the area where the journey begins or ends, local authorities can more effectively enforce their regulations. This would level the playing field for all drivers, ensuring that they meet the specific standards set out by the local licensing authority, thus boosting public trust in the system.

As the petition begins its bid to attract support, it highlights a growing unrest among local drivers who across England who feel that their livelihoods and the safety of their passengers are compromised by the current regulatory framework.

The online Parliament petition says: “Change the law so that a taxi or private hire vehicle needs to be licensed in the area a journey either starts or finishes in order to take on a booking. “Currently people licensed in one authority can work as a PHV in any other authority in the country. “Cross border working restricts the ability of licensing authorities to enforce effectively, set appropriate safety standards for drivers, vehicles and operators and can undermine the confidence the public have in the licensed taxi and private hire trades within their area.”


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