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Welsh Transport Minister proposes new national standards for taxis and PHVs to tackle cross-border



In a bid to address concerns raised by drivers and passengers alike, Welsh Transport Minister Lee Waters announced plans to introduce new national standards for taxis and private hire vehicles in Wales.


The move comes after the release of consultation responses to the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (Wales) Bill, which were reviewed to gather public opinion and expert insights on the proposed changes.

One of the key issues raised by drivers was the unfair competition posed by drivers from areas with less stringent training and testing requirements. This so-called "cross-bordering" not only compromises the safety and customer service experience for passengers but also negatively impacts drivers and operators in Wales.


To ensure consistent standards of safety and service, Waters emphasised the need for a unified approach. Under the proposed national standards, any taxi or private hire vehicle operating in Wales would need to meet the same requirements, undergo the same safety checks, and receive the same level of training as their counterparts in the country.


While some respondents expressed concerns about the implications of these national standards for vehicles licensed in England but operating in Wales, Waters assured that legitimate cross-border journeys would not be affected. To prevent drivers from obtaining an English licence to bypass the Welsh standards, safeguards will be introduced.


Welsh Transport Minister, Lee Waters, said: “One of the chief complaints from drivers, especially in south-east and north-east Wales, is the issue of drivers from areas with less onerous standards of training and testing unfairly competing with them for passengers. This so-called cross-bordering doesn’t give passengers a consistent level of safety and customer service, and is bad for drivers and operators too.

“Many respondents also felt that discretion for local authorities to set additional local standards should be kept to a minimum. We will continue to work with stakeholders to finalise the national standards. As a result, whenever you use a taxi or a private hire vehicle in Wales, you will be assured that the driver, vehicle and operator have been subject to the same requirements, safety checks and training.


“Respondents had mixed views about the implications national standards would have for taxis and private hire vehicles licensed in England and working in Wales. We will not stop legitimate journeys that cross the border between Wales and England. We will seek to introduce safeguards to ensure that drivers do not obtain a licence in England to avoid Wales's national standards. And we will continue to monitor the situation and engage stakeholders on both sides of the border as we develop our proposals.”

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