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Early Day Motion tabled calling for reform of taxi laws to be brought forward as a matter of public safety

18 Oct 2019

Taxi drivers are being urged to contact their local MPs nationwide

An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled calling for the reform of taxi and private hire legislation to be brought forward as a matter of public safety.


The EDM supported by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner urges other MPs to sign the motion. The calls for new legislation aim to provide a safer and more robust system. 

The motion comes as Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, yesterday admitted there were no plans for new taxi licensing laws.


During yesterday’s Transport Select Committee session, Shapps went up against the cross-party scrutiny body for the first time and was quizzed by the Cambridge MP.

According to sources, he focused instead on “updating guidance“.

As a result, today’s motion states: “That this House notes the hard work of the taxi and private hire trade, and that some of the legislation which governs licensing in the industry is dated back to 1847; recognises that new technology and changing transport needs mean than the UK desperately needs updated legislation; notes that the Government's taxi and private hire Task and Finish Group report from 2018, steps towards a safer and more robust system calls for new legislation, and that the report's introduction by its Chair, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, states that undue delay would risk public safety and that the onus falls on the Government to improve legislation; notes that the Queen's Speech omitted any mention of a taxi or private hire Bill; and calls on the Government to introduce new legislation as soon as possible to improve safety in the sector.”

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said: “We are extremely disappointed that this current government have backed away from introducing the legislation that we were promised and that is so urgently needed.”

The LTDA are urging taxi drivers nationwide to contact their local MP asking them to sign EDM 46, in support of the trade and to ensure the safety of the public whilst using taxi or private hire services anywhere in the country.

Daniel Zeichner MP said yesterday after the Transport Select Committee meeting: “Taxi licensing laws are not fit for purpose and need updating to close the loopholes that currently can be exploited and have led to some passengers being unsafe. I think it’s neglectful that the Government are now refusing to act on the recommendations from the Task and Finish Group Report on reforming legislation – especially when they previously said they’d act.“ 

Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North and APPG Chair on Taxis, said yesterday: “The statement by Grant Shapps that the Government will not be bringing forward urgently-needed legislation on taxi and private hire licensing is extremely disappointing, given the cross-party support across the House. The statutory guidance he plans to issue will not substitute for updating out-of-date legislation which puts passengers in danger.

“Less than a fortnight ago, a minister in his own department admitted in the House of Commons that existing legislation needs reform and hinted strongly that it could be included in the Queen’s Speech. The Government has promised more than 20 times this year to bring in such legislation “when time allows”. Such a U-turn will damage the taxi and private hire trades and the public’s confidence in this Government to keep them safe.”  

 

Image credit: Pexels

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