London’s regulators are testing the planned introduction of a national database of taxi and private hire licence revocations confirms London Mayor.
The register, which is to be hosted by the Local Government Association (LGA), allows councils to record details of where a taxi or PHV licence has been refused or revoked and allows local authorities to check new applicants against the register.
The database is expected to help each local licensing authority as it tackles the issue of individuals making applications to different licensing authorities following a refusal or revocation.
At the moment, if drivers do not disclose information about a previous revocation or refusal of a licence, there is often no way for a council to find this information out. This means an individual might be able to get a new licence in another area, despite having their licence taken away elsewhere.
The LGA commissioned the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) to develop and host the register. NAFN is a shared service, hosted by Tameside council, which supports public authorities to tackle fraud and share intelligence.
To access the register, authorities are required to be members of NAFN; around 90 per cent of local authorities are already members and will be able to access the register at no additional cost. For non-members, membership of NAFN costs £1,500/ year and our understanding is that this is be a legitimate cost to be included in the licensing fee.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, responded to a question from Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon on the topic, saying: “Transport for London (TfL) has been working with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the National Anti-Fraud Network to design and implement the database. TfL is currently undertaking testing of the IT solution with the intention of introducing it at the earliest opportunity.
“In addition, I and TfL both support recommendation 24 of the Department for Transport-commissioned Task and Finish Group which calls for a national database of all licensed taxi and PHV drivers, vehicles and operators, to support stronger enforcement. The Government indicated in its response to the Task and Finish Group report that is was going to legislate to enable the creation of such a database.”
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