Suggestions to restrict the number of hours taxi and private hire vehicle drivers can drive for are said to be not “practical or proportionate” according to London’s biggest taxi association.
This week the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis welcomed the independent DfT report calling for new legislation to safeguard passengers and cap the rapid growth of private hire vehicles in the UK’s cities.
The changes, 34 in total, were proposed by Task and Finish Group Chair Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq and several other industry stakeholders.
One of the recommendations made highlighted the need for Government to urgently review the need to restrict the number of hours that taxi and PHV drivers can drive for, focusing on the same safety grounds that restriction on hours are made for bus and lorry drivers.
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, said:
“The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association agrees with the need to stop some drivers, particularly PHV drivers working through apps, from working excessively. However, we are concerned that the proposed measures set out in this report, especially the installation of tachographs, are neither practical nor proportionate and will prove to be very costly for both regulators and drivers.
“For those PHV drivers who use apps for all their business it would be relatively easy to introduce restrictions on how long they are logged into the app. However, it would be much harder to regulate the hours of taxi drivers. The installation of tachographs has previously been discussed to try and control the hours of taxi drivers but each time the relevant regulator has deemed it an excessive measure, as well as intrusive and costly.
“The best way to tackle excessive driving hours is to remove the need for drivers to work these hours in order to make ends meet. The LTDA believes that if all PHV operators paid their drivers at least the national minimum wage the hours those drivers feel the need to work would fall substantially.”