When you’re starting out in something new, it’s always good to look for tips and pointers from people who’ve got more experience for you. This might just be from someone you already know in the taxi trade. Once you start, you’ll also get to meet other cabbies on the ranks or at your private hire booking office. Another useful point of contact could be a local cab trade association.
There are literally hundreds of local taxi and private hire associations across the UK. Some are just a few of the more experienced or interested people in the trade, who get together from time to time to put the views of local cabbies across to the local council and media. Others are well developed organisations with subscription fees and regular meetings. In the larger cities, taxi associations can be highly developed, operating local booking services or lobbying on a wide range of issues. The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, in London, is the biggest in the UK and is a well-resourced consortium which provides a host of benefits, including fighting legal cases on behalf of individual member drivers.
In addition to local association there are national representative bodies for both hackney taxis and private hire services. The National Taxi Association (NTA) is the leading organisation for the public hire taxi trade. It operates as an umbrella organisation for local taxi associations and campaigns nationally on important issues that affect the taxi industry. It holds a national conference once a year, which moves to different parts of the country. If you’re keen to get involved in taxi issues and learn from other areas, this could be a good event to go to.
The National Taxi Association is a successor to earlier bodies dating back to 1960. Its website provides lots of news and information about taxi issues. The NTA’s activities include:
- Encouraging good relations and mutual support among all taxi drivers
- Supporting the development of new ideas and a good and efficient service for passengers
- Celebrating achievements by taxi drivers.
- To lobby to protect taxi drivers’ interests, notably through relevant legislation and in Parliament.
- To help younger people make a success of the taxi trade.
- To share useful research and information about the taxi industry.
The private hire sector also has an active representative body, called the National Private Hire Association (NPHA). Founded in 1992, its magazine – Private Hire & Taxi Monthly – is the most read taxi paper in the UK and serves hackney taxi as well as private hire readers. In fact, the association also updates and publishes current fare tariffs, every month, as set by every local authority around the UK.
The National Private Hire Association has placed particular emphasis on supporting individuals and local private hire associations in fighting legal matters affecting their livelihood. Its website includes lots of useful information on previous private hire related legislation and previous legal cases. The NPHA is very active in lobbying MPs, government Ministers and the Department for Transport on taxi topics and has conducted a number of useful research surveys.
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