Rachel Maclean, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Transport (DfT), has said that the Government will continue to engage with the taxi and private hire sector in relation to plans for reforming regulations to improve safety within the industry for both passengers and drivers.
The DfT is currently supporting local licensing authorities to allow them to use their extensive powers to improve safety by introducing updated regulations which are designed to see tougher requirements put in place to monitor and oversee how drivers are licensed as well as on-going checks to keep track of driver behaviour.
More regular DBS checks and the introduction of CCTV in all licensed vehicles have been just two of the key elements discussed by licensing authorities around the UK over the past few months.
Consultations have been held by numerous councils and licensing authorities to gain a clearer picture of what may or may not be needed to improve the regulation of a trade which has thrown up a number of issues including the increased level of cross-border hiring and the ongoing challenges seen since the ride-hailing phenomenon came into play around 5 years ago.
Discussing the issues in Parliament, Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat’s Spokesperson for Transport, asked the question: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals on national minimum standards for taxi & PHV licensing to improve safety for passengers?”
In her response, Rachel Maclean said: “The Government will continue to engage with the taxi and private hire vehicle sector on our plans for reforming regulation, including options to introduce new legislation.
”The Department is supporting licensing authorities to make use of their extensive existing powers through the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards issued last year and will consult on updated best practice guidance for licensing authorities later this year.”