Following the publication of the new report, “Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing Steps towards a safer and more robust system“, by the Working Group commissioned by the Department for Transport, Cambridge’s MP Daniel Zeichner, has called on the Government to act without delay.
Mr Zeichner comments “This powerful report calls for legislation to update regulation and licensing of taxi and private hire vehicles, and it calls for it quickly. Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, the group chair, underlines this in his introduction, stating that “undue delay would risk public safety“. This again proves the need for more robust standards in licensing, as my Private Member’s Bill would have provided – but it was talked out by a Conservative MP. Today the Transport Secretary gave a speech at Conservative Party Conference, and failed to reach beyond rail, motoring and aviation; the Tories need to start facing up to the reality of people’s everyday needs, including safety in taxis and private hire.“
“This report calls for all the measures that my Bill contained, plus more – I hope that this is the catalyst for action that is so badly needed. If Ministers don’t announce plans for legislation to raise standards in the next few weeks, I would consider it neglectful of public safety“
The report calls for a national database of license refusals, revocations and suspensions as proposed in Mr Zeichner’s Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill which was talked out in February of this year. Mr Zeichner’s Bill also called for greater licensing enforcement powers and information sharing between local authorities, which the report also recommends.
Beyond these recommendations, the report calls for national minimum standards for licensing across the country which can be built on locally, and CCTV in every taxi and private hire vehicle.