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© Institute of Licensing 2009
Background The Institute of Licensing is conducting a nationwide consultation to find out how the existing law is working for different users including drivers, operators, customers and regulators.
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Why Licence Taxis? “The aim of local authority licensing of the taxi and PHV trades is to protect the public.” DfT “Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing: Best Practice Guidance”
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Public Protection Unlicensed drivers (and therefore unvetted) Unlicensed vehicles (and therefore untested) Vulnerable Users –“Who is taking you home tonight?” Too many examples of assaults etc in unlicensed vehicles
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Trade protection Licensed drivers, proprietors & operators need protection against the unlicensed cowboys Certain standards for drivers, proprietors & operators create public confidence in the use of licensed vehicles Too many examples of attacks on and robberies of drivers
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Why consult? Taxi law is archaic - dates back to 1847 Different local authorities have different requirements Two types of taxi – hackney carriage and private hire, but the public don’t really know or care Law is anomalous and uncertain in many areas
© Institute of Licensing 2009 The story so far? Scoping 1 st stage consultation undertaken to find out views within the IoL membership and selected stakeholders.
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Overall findings A general consensus that: –the existing law is outdated and no longer fit for purpose. –Complete reform is necessary to bring the law up to date, to counteract ambiguity, provide clarity and accountability and to maintain and improve public safety.
© Institute of Licensing 2009 General findings from Stage 1 Strong view that there should be one category of licensed vehicle Concern that current complicated system leaves door open for unlicensed operators putting the public at risk Support for Local Councils to remain as licensing authority but scope for national regulator Need for greater consistency and standards across the country
© Institute of Licensing 2009 General findings from Stage 1 Operators –Role of operator supported but more important is the need for clear record keeping by drivers/operators or vehicle owners
© Institute of Licensing 2009 General findings from Stage 1 Drivers –Standards of checks and training should be consistent –Taxis could be incorporated as a category on DVLA driving licences in the same way as HGVs. –Working Time Directive should apply –Potential for national taxi driver licences (or local licences which are valid across the country)
© Institute of Licensing 2009 General findings from Stage 1 Vehicles/1 –Standards of checks should be consistent –Should be clear division between taxi and PSV licensing –Should be clearer licensing provision and guidance relating to specialist vehicles such as limos etc. –Clarity and consistency needed for volunteer drivers, childminders etc which now fall within the law but the requirements are applied inconsistently
© Institute of Licensing 2009 General findings from Stage 1 Vehicles/2 –Support for maximum fares to be retained together with taxi ranks, disabled access vehicles and other measures to assist in the transport provision by taxis (eg use of bus lanes) –fares should continue to be set locally but using a common formulae to determine a level appropriate taking into account local issues. –Consensus that there should be no limitations on the number of taxis – this should be determined by market forces.
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Conclusions from Stage 1/2 Stage 2 consultation is necessary and should be aimed at everyone with any interest in taxis The public and user groups such as disability groups are particularly important
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Issues: What is the practical understanding by the public of licensed vehicles and the law? Is a lack of understanding coupled with a lack of clarity potentially undermining public safety and leaving the door open for bogus operators? Could new laws benefit the trade, users and regulators by introducing clearer requirements and national standards while retaining a local element to maintain local accountability?
© Institute of Licensing 2009 The Consultation An online survey: Consultation will run until 31 st March 2010
© Institute of Licensing 2009 Contact Us For further information please contact: Sue Towler, Executive Officer Tel: Website:
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