Private Hire Taxi Consultation in London

Cabbie golden85

December 23, 2010

London Taxi and Private Hire, part of Transport for London, recently completed a review of regulations governing private hire taxis, operators, drivers and vehicles in London.

The taxi review was carried out in response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy published in May 2010. This set out Boris Johnson’s vision for the improvement of London’s transport network over the next two decades.

Taxi Review

The scope of the review covered;

  • Licensing and other requirements for drivers
  • Signage and the types of taxi for sale that can be licensed for private hire in London
  • Premises that can be used as operating centres
  • Planning permission and other requirements for operators
  • Criminal record checks for operator licence applicants

Following the review, a consultation on the findings and recommendations was published. The consultation makes 16 separate recommendations in three key areas. These are;

Taxi Drivers

  1. Additional licensing requirements for new drivers
  2. Enhanced driving assessment for new drivers
  3. All drivers to obtain NVQ in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving
  4. All drivers to display identification to be visible to passengers
  5. No driver is to make a remark of a sexual nature or have any sexual contact in a licensed vehicle

Taxi Vehicles

  1. Replace the existing licence discs and red route signs with consolidated signage
  2. Restrictions on what types of taxis for sale can be licensed as PHVs and other measures to clarify the distinction between private hire and hackney taxis

Taxi Operators

1.      Restrictions on operating centres in late night venues and other shared premises
2.      A return to assessing the status of planning permission before granting licences for operating centres
3.      A commitment to comply with parking regulations in the area of the operating centre(s)
4.      Restriction on the acceptance of bookings to a designated area in the licensed premises
5.       An obligation to have arrangements in place to provide wheelchair accessible taxis when required (directly or by sub-contract)
6.        Restrictions on small operators and operating centres in residential premises
7.      Operators provide a land line number for accepting bookings
8.      A requirement for a standard Criminal Records Bureau check on applicants for an operator’s licence
9.      Restrictions on premises where an operator licence would be granted

 

The taxi consultation closed on December 24th 2010.  A summary of the comments received will be published on the TfL web-site following a review of the responses at the end of the consultation period.

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