Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles ‐ “Informal” DfT Targeted Consultation

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles ‐ “Informal” DfT Targeted ConsultationOn the 7th of January the Department for Transport (DfT) sough views from a select few (7) organisations on a number of proposals to amend the law relating to taxi and private hire licensing.  

The 10 day consultation sought views on the following proposals:

1.    to allow PHV operators licensed in England (outside London) and Wales to sub‐ contract bookings to an operator licensed in a different district. London PHV operators are allowed to sub‐contract to an operator licensed outside London so it would be a case of establishing a more level playing field.

2.    to address the law as stated in the case of Benson v Boyce. It is to allow private hire vehicles licensed by a local authority outside London to be driven by a person (e.g. a family member) who does not hold a PHV driver licence when the vehicle is not being used for private hire work i.e. when it is “off‐duty”. This is the position in London so again, it would be a case of establishing a more level playing field as between London and the rest of England and Wales.

3.    to make it explicit in the legislation applying to taxis and PHVs outside London that taxi and PHV driver licences should be issued for a standard period of three years (and PHV operator licences five years) and licences should only be granted for shorter periods in the circumstances of an individual case (e.g. probation/monitoring or where the driver asks for a short‐ term seasonal licence).

Licensing Resource has not seen the consultation document but it does seems odd that the DfT would seek views on taxi and private hire law reform when the Law Commission is about to publish its draft taxi and private hire reform Bill.

Watch this space I guess!