Updated: Sep 6, 2021
The Private Members’ Bills currently running through Parliament are ’UNLIKELY’ to make much difference in the short term to the taxi industry, says key trade rep.
Recently a new Private Members’ Bill was announced with the intention of ‘overhauling’ licensing within the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) industry. That Bill will face its second reading in September.
The MP presenting the new Bill, Darlington’s Peter Gibson, said the Bill was needed to keep up pace with ‘rapid innovation’ and to manage the ‘evolution’ in public transport. From the few details released, the focus will be placed on safeguarding rather than vital legislation around Cross Border Hiring and clearer definitions on plying-for-hire.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said in TAXI Newspaper: “An issue that seems to be coming back to the fore is the need for an update of taxi and PHV regulation. There are a number of private members bills currently before Parliament to try to achieve this, although I am told these are more about getting the issue back on the agenda and are unlikely to make much difference in the short term.
“More interestingly, the Mayor (Sadiq Khan) has indicated that he will revisit some of the outstanding safety issues around PHVs, including the need for advanced driving tests to be reinstated for taxis and introduced for PHV drivers.
“As I have written recently, taxi drivers always had to take an additional test or undergo some sort of assessment of their driving as a condition of licensing and the removal of the test was only ever meant to be temporary until TfL could find a new provider to deliver it after the DVSA stopped offering it.
“I’ve raised this issue repeatedly with the Vision Zero leads at TfL pointing out how this could be an easy way to help make progress in their efforts to end road deaths. Yet here we are, nearly five years on. Over the last month, I have been meeting with various road safety charities and campaign groups, including members of the Vision Zero Reference Group to discuss this issue and most agree that this is, or at least should be, a no- brainer! In September, we will be working with them to step up our lobbying of City Hall, calling on them to act on this and a number of other issues.”
Earlier this summer the Mayor of London said he plans to review the need for an Advanced Driving Test for private hire drivers once new government safety standards are set in place first.