Updated: May 10
Government transport officials will “shortly” issue licensing authorities “extensive existing powers” through statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards, reiterates MP.
The government also maintained that an update in taxi and private hire best practice guidance on other matters will be due out later this year.
The latest announcement comes following questions put forward to the Department for Transport (DfT) by Labour London Assembly Member Florence Eshalomi on 1 May.
Eshalomi asked when the Secretary of State for Transport plans to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce national minimum standards for taxi and private hire licensing.
The Labour Assembly Member went on to ask when plans to bring forward the proposals on cross-border working are likely to come in and when government plans to respond to the public consultation on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing which was published in February 2019.
Rachel Maclean, Conservative MP for Redditch and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for DfT, responded yesterday saying: “The Government will continue to engage with the sector on our plans for reforming the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, including options to introduce new legislation.
“The Department is supporting licensing authorities to make use of their extensive existing powers through statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards, which will be issued shortly. The Department will consult on updated best practice guidance on other matters later this year.”
Over three months ago Nusrat Ghani MP also said the government were to issue the statutory standards “shortly” during a transport topical questions debate in the House of Commons on 30 January.
With no fixed date announced, the licensed taxi and private hire industries must continue to wait nearly THREE YEARS after the review process began.
The Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing was established in September 2017. The group's remit was to consider evidence relating to the adequacy of current taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authority powers, as set out in legislation and guidance, and to make recommendations for actions to address any priority issues identified.
The Chair of the group, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, submitted his report to the Secretary of State for Transport on 9 July 2018.
In February 2019 the Government responded to the report, but there has been little movement since then with some claiming Brexit debates as a reason for the lack of progress made.
Image credit: Ross Campbell