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Four in five polled within the taxi industry want current cross border rules abolished


Results from a recent survey conducted by TaxiPoint have revealed that nearly four in five people are advocating for the complete overhaul of existing cross border taxi and private hire regulations.


The poll revealed that 79% of the 1,700 plus respondents favour abolishing the current rules governing out-of-town operations.

Cross border hiring allows taxi and private hire drivers to accept pre-booked jobs via an operator that start out of the area where they are licensed. This practice has become a point of contention due to concerns about fairness and safety. Critics argue that it disrupts local taxi services and undermines area-specific regulations designed to protect passengers and drivers alike.


Taxi driver Valentin Costea emphasised the need for local operation, stating: "Everyone should stay in the areas where they are licensed. If you have a trip outside your area, complete the job and return home. This approach can protect the local drivers."


Conversely, cross border expert Lee Ward pointed out the inconsistencies in the current system, noting: "Localism is necessary for conditions to suit the area they apply to. Why should drivers and vehicles have to change when it's the operators' systems that broke the intention of the legislation? The focus should be on dealing with the operators, not the drivers."

David Rowden offered a nuanced perspective, advocating for a balance between national standards and local enforcement. He suggested: "I think there should be a national minimum standard enforced at a local level. We shouldn't have borders hindering our work. I have 7 LAs in my area with multiple local companies operating across all 7. It's not in the driver’s interest or the customer’s interest to send drivers back to their LA. I do think the Wolverhampton thing is an issue though that needs to be addressed by a national standard.


“I'd like to see cross bordering scrapped to a degree but not fully. We have a lot of Mayor ran combined authorities across the country and drivers licenced in any one of those authorities should be able to work freely across their combined authority. But a driver licensed in Wolverhampton shouldn't be able to work in London or Manchester for example.”


Jason Smith, another cabbie, called for uniform licensing standards across the country. "There needs to be a national standard for licencing, all abide by the same conditions for age, milage, condition of vehicles and all pay the same licence fees etc irrespective of where you licence,” he said.


Some supporters of maintaining cross border operations argued for a unified national private hire licence, similar to the system used in Ireland by the National Transport Authority (NTA). This approach would replace the multiple regional licences currently in place, potentially simplifying the regulatory landscape. However, this would also require a change in how licensing enforcement is conducted and paid for, which currently sits with the local authorities.

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