Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“It’s disappointing that the Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles Bill, which would have made passengers safer in our local communities, fell this afternoon, despite the bill having the Government’s backing and cross-party consensus.
“However, councils are determined to do everything in their power to keep passengers safe, and will continue to work closely with government, parliamentarians, and local authorities to ensure that a legal register of taxi drivers becomes a reality.
“The current picture, of outdated, patchwork legislation that dates back to Victorian times is not good enough. We have seen numerous cases of drivers abusing their passengers trust, including serious cases of child sexual exploitation, and it is essential that we have a legal framework that means we can protect our residents to the fullest extent possible. Comprehensive reform of our taxi licensing laws is urgently needed, and we’re determined to keep working with government to ensure this happens.
“It’s long past time for a taxi licensing regime fit for the 21st Century. We urge the Government to look at ways in which legislation can be updated, to support councils in their efforts to keep residents as safe as possible.”