Ministers maintain new statutory taxi standards will be issued “shortly”, month after confirmation

The government maintains that statutory taxi and private hire standards will be issued “shortly”, a month on from first confirmation.

Originally Department for Transport (DfT) minister, Nusrat Ghani, made the announcement during a transport topical questions debate in the House of Commons on 30 January.

Nearly four weeks on and a different DfT minister, Kelly Tolhurst, has delivered a similar message to MP’s asking for timescales around the new taxi and private hire standards.

Conor McGinn, a Labour MP for St Helens North asked the DfT via a written question last month: "To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's timescale is for responding to the Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing: protecting users consultation published on 12 February 2019."

Kelly Tolhurst responded on 26 February writing: "We will shortly be issuing Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Standards to licensing authorities on protecting passengers."

The basis of these new taxi reforms dates back to September 2017 when a Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing was established.

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

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