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FIVE YEARS ON: Further TfL consultation on topic of advanced taxi and PHV tests could be needed

London’s transport regulators have said time may have run out on its original consultation conducted over five years ago, which focused on the return of advanced driving tests for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers.

Transport for London (TfL) undertook a consultation between 26 March and 25 June 2018 entitled ‘Improving Safety in Private Hire Vehicles’ and this included a proposal for an enhanced driving test for PHV drivers.

Five years have now elapsed since the regulator initially undertook the ‘Improving Safety in Private Hire Vehicles’ consultation, and there have been a significant number of changes in that time. TfL have said that they ‘would need to consider whether further consultation would be required’ if they decided to bring forward any of the proposals considered in the original consultation.

Some of the significant licensing everts since 2018 includes the Task and Finish Group on taxi and PHV licensing, commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT). Many of the recommendations within the report aligned with the proposals set out in TfL’s consultation forcing a pause.

On 12 February 2019, the DfT launched a consultation containing a range of proposals for Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards. This consultation closed on 22 April 2019 and contained a wide range of proposals, some of which were similar to the proposals within the consultation TfL conducted in 2018. London’s transport regulator responded to the DfT’s consultation and continued to pause the work on its own consultation, until they knew the outcome of the DfT review.

In early 2020, in response to the global COVID-19 Pandemic and national lockdown restrictions, TfL was required to focus on critical licensing activities, primarily maintaining periods of continuous licensing for existing licensees and dealing with safety-critical intelligence. No work was undertaken on the consultation during this time.

In July 2020, the DfT published Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, a number of which superseded the proposals in the Improving Safety consultation.

Between 28 March and 20 June 2022 the DfT undertook a consultation on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Best Practice Guidance. TfL anticipate the updated guidance will be published soon and consideration given to the guidance.


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