Taxi Driver Online

UK cab trade debate and advice
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:43 pm 
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Taxi Driver Online FAQ – The website

Please note that the following is for guidance only, and is provided without obligation. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

Why is your site called Taxi Driver Online when it’s clearly aimed at the private hire trade as well as taxi drivers?

The term ‘taxi’ is used in its everyday generic sense meaning either a hackney carriage or a private hire vehicle. This also concurs with usage in the press and by the public. Official practice varies regarding the use of the term. For example, the licensing authorities in York and Gateshead respectively use the term generically and to specifically mean a hackney carriage:

http://www.york.gov.uk/licensing/taxilicensing/
http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/consumer/taxi.htm

Clearly the generic use of the term can cause confusion and resentment from sections of the hackney carriage trade, but the main source of the problem is the different approaches taken by the various regulatory jurisdictions in the UK. In London, the use of the word taxi is controlled quite tightly, and private hire operators are not allowed to use the term in advertising, for example. In Scotland, the legislation uses the term in its stricter sense, but there is no specific control of the word in relation to advertising as in London, for example. In provincial England and Wales, practice is more varied, as demonstrated by the examples from the local authority websites. In view of this lack of consistency, and because the site’s main target audience is provincial England, we feel that our use of the term taxi in its generic sense is unlikely to confuse further. In any case, the banner at the top of our homepage makes it clear that the site is aimed at both sides of the trade.

Your site is biased towards derestriction of taxi numbers?

Our editorial line certainly does not support restricted taxi numbers. However, the site was set up to foster debate and our discussion forum contains contributions from those representing both sides of the argument, as even a cursory examination of some of the debates demonstrates.

However, the word ‘biased’ is possibly not the best to describe our position, since the term implies some sort of irrationality or even bad faith. But the site is no more ‘biased’ than the mainstream trade publications, the main difference being that we take a different position on the restricted numbers issue. The fact that many in the trade consider this position to be some sort of heresy seems to be the source of the ‘bias’ accusation – supporting restricted numbers is the received wisdom, thus any criticism is deemed ‘biased’.


Version 1, 6 October 2005

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