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NEW SAFEGUARDS: Peter Gibson MP ‘DELIGHTED’ as new taxi bill introduced

Updated: May 1, 2023


Baroness Vere and Lord Borwick with representatives from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Elaine Pickford and Liam O’Callaghan and Mr Gibson.

New measures will safeguard passengers and crack down on unfit taxi and private hire vehicle drivers, with tighter checks introduced across Local Authorities.

Darlington MP Peter Gibson introduced his Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill in the hope that it will reform licensing rules for taxis and private hire vehicles and start an overhaul of the licensing process, including the safeguarding associated with licensing. The Act received Royal Assent, therefore becoming law, on 31 March 2022.

Building on this legislation, councils in England will now be mandated to use a national database to record instances where taxi and Private Hire Vehicle drivers have their licences removed for misconduct. This new law will prevent them from simply reapplying for a licence in other areas by alerting the system to concerns about their prior behaviour.

This will ensure passengers can use taxis and Private Hire Vehicles with greater confidence, that these modes of transport are safe, helping to strengthen communities and restore pride in towns and high streets across the country.

Behind this legislation was a long running campaign by the family of Sian O’Callaghan to change the law. Sian O’Callaghan was tragically murdered by a taxi driver in Swindon in 2011. With the help of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, her mother, Elaine Pickford, has campaigned relentlessly ever since to improve the quality of regulation in this area.

Speaking about this news, Sian’s family said: “To see this law being implemented and rolled out today across all local authorities is testament to Sian. It was in her nature to help others and this means so much to us personally.

“Her name is now linked to a drastic improvement in passengers’ safety within taxis and Private Hire Vehicles, while also better protecting hard-working, law-abiding drivers themselves.”

Mr Gibson added: “I’m delighted that I had the opportunity to table this important and much needed Bill in Parliament.

“This new Act makes changes which will improve the sharing of data on taxi drivers between local authorities and closes a loophole which should never have existed.

“I was supported by many groups and organisations as well as many cross-party colleagues in the House, who have all been invaluable in their contributions.

“I am delighted that all the months of hard work has now reached its practical delivery. These important reforms will now allow us to better protect some of the most vulnerable in society.

“I remain grateful to Sian O’Callaghan’s family for their help and support in helping to illustrate the need for this law and the difference it will make. I believe Sian’s Law is a lasting tribute to a beautiful young woman, and her legacy is making things just a little bit safer for women girls and all taxi users.”

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