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TAXI AND PHV CROSS-BORDER HIRING: 'Loophole in the current legislation being exploited' says TfL

Transport for London (TfL) have expressed concerns over potential ‘serious safety risks’ posed to passengers and other road users as a result of limited enforcement and inspection of drivers and vehicles operating outside their licensed areas.

In a recent statement given to TaxiPoint, the capital’s regulator emphasised the need for new legislation to put an end to cross-border hiring within the taxi and private hire industry.

TfL have been focused on enhancing regulations within London to prioritise passenger safety. However, the exploitation of a loophole in the current legislation undermines these efforts, distorts the market, and potentially compromises passenger safety, according to the statement.

While acknowledging that cross-border hiring may be lawful under specific circumstances, TfL firmly believes that the potential risks associated with this practice necessitate intervention from the Government.

TfL said in a statement to TaxiPoint: “While lawful in specific circumstances, we believe cross-border hiring potentially presents serious safety risks to passengers and other road users due to the limited enforcement and inspection these drivers and vehicles are subject to when operating outside of the area they are licensed in. Furthermore, we have spent considerable time reviewing and enhancing the regulations in London to ensure passenger safety and to ensure that taxi and private hire services are fit for the diverse city we serve. These regulations are potentially being undermined, the market distorted, and therefore passenger safety compromised by the loophole in the current legislation being exploited.

“As such we have, for a number of years, maintained our position that we would like the Government to bring forward legislation that ensures a journey starts or finishes in the area where a licence was granted, ending cross-border hiring. We wrote a detailed policy paper on this topic in 2018 setting out proposals for change. In 2019, the Government committed to giving this topic consideration and we remain open to working with Government to stop this unsafe practice.”


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