LGA responds to announcement of new taxi safety standards

“Current legislation, which dates back to the 19th century, needs to be strengthened following well-documented child exploitation cases where taxi and PHV drivers have abused the trust placed in them. Any undue delay to implementing reforms risks public safety.”


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Responding to new statutory standards on taxi and minicab licensing published today by the Department for Transport, Cllr Katrina Wood, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Councils are working hard to ensure that anyone using a taxi or private hire vehicle is kept safe. The new statutory standards will assist councils to safeguard vulnerable passengers but the best way to improve passenger safety is to reform outdated legislation and make it fit for the 21st century.

“As a move in the right direction, we are pleased the new standards include a number of recommendations councils have pushed for, including enhanced driver safety checks and safeguarding and disability awareness training.   

 “We are also pleased that the guidance recommends councils use the LGA’s national register of taxi and PHV driver licence refusals and revocations.

“We urge the Government to reform taxi legislation soon, which needs to reflect the increasing use of mobile phone apps to book taxis and private hire vehicles and to give councils national enforcement powers so they can take action against any vehicles operating in their areas irrespective of where they are licensed.

“Current legislation, which dates back to the 19th century, needs to be strengthened following well-documented child exploitation cases where taxi and PHV drivers have abused the trust placed in them. Any undue delay to implementing reforms risks public safety.”

Notes

  1. The LGA represents more than 330 councils of all types across England. We work on behalf of our members to support, promote and improve local government.
  2. It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and two thirds are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic.