Report backs LGA taxi reform plea

The report, published by the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing, calls for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) legislation to be urgently revised, with national minimum standards for drivers and journeys to start and/or end within the area that issued the relevant licence among other recommendations.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Councils have long-called for existing outdated taxi laws to be updated and strengthened, so we are pleased that many of our recommendations have been supported in this report.

“Proposals to tackle out-of-area working, improve safeguarding and establish national minimum standards are essential to provide safer journeys and fairer business for drivers.

“Further recommendations to set minimum numbers of wheelchair accessible vehicles and install CCTV in licensed vehicles, while desirable, need to be considered alongside necessary funding to facilitate this.

“Local councils must continue to be central to the licensing process. We are pleased that the report recognises the importance of retaining local flexibility in taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, and of drivers being required to work in the area where they are licensed.

“The need for reform is now urgent. Councils are doing what they can to strengthen licensing processes, such as signing up to the new National Register of Revocations and Refusals commissioned by the LGA, but we have always said that the best way to strengthen safeguarding is to update legislation, which only government can do.”

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