Private hire drivers will NOT be able to work for more than one operator Swindon councillors decide

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Private hire drivers licensed by Swindon Council will not be permitted to work for more than one operator at a time, committee members voted.

The borough held a meeting to discuss the possibility of changing the current rule to allow drivers the opportunity to accept jobs from multiple operators, but concluded that the rule as it stands will be retained.

The change was originally suggested by Labour councillor Jim Robbins. He said he had been asked by drivers who do a lot of airport and port work, and it would allow them to take bookings on the reverse journey as well – saving money, fuel and pollution.

A consultation was held to collect data from drivers currently licensed by Swindon Council, but a poor level of response meant committee members were not swayed to change the current rule.

The council’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton, said: “We only got six responses, which is very disappointing, especially as the team did a lot of work to remind people to respond when the deadline was coming up. “It’s not helpful – four out of six responses voted to allow drivers to be able to work for more than one operator, but the same number, sometimes the same people, voted not to change the current system, where they can’t do that.”

Cllr John Ballman, said: “I think that shows that there’s no real demand for this change. "The low response rate and the mixed response itself shows that this isn’t something people are crying out for.”

The Licensing Committee concluded that for now, the rule should remain that a Swindon licensed private hire driver can only work for one operator at a time.

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