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LGA Calls For Halt To Taxi Licensing Reforms
Proposed changes to the law governing private hire taxi cabs have been critisised by the Local Government Association (LGA) who believe councils would be prevented from carrying out adequate checks on drivers as a result. Under new rules councils will review licences every three years for taxi and private hire vehicle driver licences and five years for private vehicle operator licences – while they are currently free to renew licenses annually if they wish.
Companies will also be allowed to sub contract out bookings while drivers without a private hire licence will be allowed to drive mini cabs when they are not being used for business. The LGA are concerned that changes will make it ‘impossible for councils to ensure the person actually driving the cab has been through the proper vetting procedure’ which currently includes checks for previous convictions and the production of a medical certificate. Councillor Tony Page LGA licensing spokesman said;”Councils fought hard for the reinstatement of enhanced criminal records checks for taxi and private hire drivers and these irresponsible plans threaten to undermine that progress and remove this vital protection for passengers. The consequences for someone entering a vehicle marked for hire where the driver has not been properly licensed and vetted by the council can be severe.”