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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:37 pm 
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JAMES PADDEN
HEAD OF TAXI AND PSV REGULATION BRANCH
BUSES AND TAXIS DIVISION
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT
2/12 GREAT MINSTER HOUSE
33 HORSEFERRY ROAD
LONDON
SW1P 4DR
DIVISIONAL ENQUIRIES: 020 7944 2278

Web Site: http://www.dft.gov.uk

14 March 2014


TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE MEASURES: DEREGULATION BILL

The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to several changes to taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) legislation which are being proposed by the Government. The changes affect the legislation which applies in England outside London and Wales.

Please cascade this letter to your membership and others with an interest.

The Government has introduced the Deregulation Bill as part of its drive to reduce the overall burden of regulation on business and individuals and cut ‘red tape’ during this Parliament. Ministers have identified for inclusion in the Bill three measures which are straightforward to make in isolation and which will generate significant benefits for the taxi and private hire trades.

The three measures which have been added to the Deregulation Bill are:


(i) Allowing private hire operators to sub-contract bookings to operators licensed in a different district. This change will improve operators’ ability to meet passengers’ needs. And it will help to make the passenger’s experience so much more convenient.

(ii) Allowing anyone with an ordinary driver’s licence to drive a private hire vehicle when it is “off-duty”. The principal benefit of this measure is that a PHV could be used as a family car, freeing up many families from the need to run a second car and saving them money.

(iii) Making the standard duration for all taxi and PHV driver licences three years; and five years for all PHV operator licences. Shorter durations will only be granted on a case by case basis, where it is justifiable for a particular reason. This will reduce the financial and administrative burden of having to make more frequent licence renewals.

Finally, we want to consider the case for Government involvement in the licence conditions set by local authorities. For the next three weeks, we are asking the taxi and private hire trades outside London to give us examples of conditions attached to their licences which they consider to be overly restrictive or unreasonable. We are often told about burdensome conditions attached to taxi and private hire licences, and we know that appealing against these conditions in the magistrates court can be a costly process.

We want to understand whether these are in fact unreasonable licence conditions.

We will then consider those examples and weigh up the case for changing the law in such a way as to qualify local authorities’ powers to attach conditions to licences.

We have set up a survey facility to enable taxi and PHV licence holders outside London to provide examples of unreasonable licence conditions. Details of, and a link to, the survey are in the Annex.

Once we have received information about unreasonable licence conditions we will give licensing authorities the opportunity to explain why they consider the conditions to be important and necessary.

I would stress that whilst the information gathered in this exercise will help Ministers to make a decision about whether Government intervention is justified, we would carry out a consultation exercise before actually making any regulations.

The three measures described above, along with the possible fourth measure, represent the first steps of a longer journey towards a deregulated trade; a journey which will be continued when the Government is ready to take forward the more comprehensive reforms being proposed by the Law Commission.

The Law Commission is due to publish its report and draft Bill at the end of April. The Government will then have a year in which to consider the report and prepare a response.

This timescale for considering the Law Commission’s report means that there will not be time to take forward a dedicated Taxi Bill before the next General Election.

That is why these changes are being introduced using the Deregulation Bill.

The Deregulation Bill itself is being considered by Parliament and progress on the passage of the Bill can be found on the Parliament web-site at: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/201 ... ation.html

I hope this is a helpful explanation of the latest developments.


Yours sincerely,


James Padden

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:54 pm 
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Alex wrote:
(i) Allowing private hire operators to sub-contract bookings to operators licensed in a different district. This change will improve operators’ ability to meet passengers’ needs. And it will help to make the passenger’s experience so much more convenient.

As I said in the other thread, not good for drivers. Really not good for drivers. :sad:

Alex wrote:
(ii) Allowing anyone with an ordinary driver’s licence to drive a private hire vehicle when it is “off-duty”. The principal benefit of this measure is that a PHV could be used as a family car, freeing up many families from the need to run a second car and saving them money.

Note this is a PH only measure, and despite some small concerns about illegal hirings etc, I quite like the idea.

Alex wrote:
(iii) Making the standard duration for all taxi and PHV driver licences three years; and five years for all PHV operator licences. Shorter durations will only be granted on a case by case basis, where it is justifiable for a particular reason. This will reduce the financial and administrative burden of having to make more frequent licence renewals.

Not convinced the licensing unions/associations will be jumping for joy about this, in respect of financing. Also I would be interested to see how they deal with drivers that have to have annual medicals, or drivers not declaring points or convictions within the three year period.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Quote:
Allowing anyone with an ordinary driver’s licence to drive a private hire vehicle when it is “off-duty”. The principal benefit of this measure is that a PHV could be used as a family car, freeing up many families from the need to run a second car and saving them money.


I wonder how the Insurance companies will view that wee gem? they Hate you driving your own personal car to work under Social and Domestic use policies, how the going to view Unlicensed drivers driving Licenced PH vehicles whilst not knowing if any passenger onboard is a Genuine friend or an illicit fare paying passenger.?

Can you Imagine trying to explain that off to the Insurer over the Phone,:

"Can you help me please, I have a Private driving Licence but I am unlicenced to drive a Private hire car so I'd like to drive a Private hire car on Private car Insurance because We intend to use our private hire car as our private car as well as as a private hire car...Seeemples...hello, hello..are you still there..hellooooooo!!!"

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Sussex wrote:

Alex wrote:
(iii) Making the standard duration for all taxi and PHV driver licences three years; and five years for all PHV operator licences. Shorter durations will only be granted on a case by case basis, where it is justifiable for a particular reason. This will reduce the financial and administrative burden of having to make more frequent licence renewals.

Not convinced the licensing unions/associations will be jumping for joy about this, in respect of financing. Also I would be interested to see how they deal with drivers that have to have annual medicals, or drivers not declaring points or convictions within the three year period.

Isn't there going to be a new DVLA database this year that insurance company's will be able to access that will give them the details from your driving license? Local authorities will probably be allowed to access this as well. If a driver fails their medical, I would guess that they will have their license revoked.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:40 pm 
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The measures can be found, with a bit more detail, on the latest Deregulation Bill update.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... dnames.pdf

Private hire vehicles: circumstances in which driver’s licence required
Tom Brake
Oliver Heald

To move the following Clause:—

(1) Section 46 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (vehicle, drivers’ and operators’ licences) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1)(b), for “driver of any private hire vehicle” substitute “driver of any vehicle when it is in use as a private hire vehicle”.
(3) After subsection (1) insert—
“(1A) For the purposes of this Act, a reference to a vehicle being in use as a private hire vehicle is a reference to a private hire vehicle which—
(a) is in use in connection with a hiring for the purpose of carrying passengers; or
(b) is immediately available to an operator to carry out a booking for a private hire vehicle.”
(4) After subsection (2) insert—
“(3) If, in any proceedings for an offence under this section in which it is alleged that the defendant contravened subsection (1)(b), the prosecution prove that a private hire vehicle was at any time being used on a road to carry one or more passengers, it is to be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the vehicle was, at that time, in use in connection with a hiring as mentioned in subsection (1A)(a).”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment inserts a new clause which allows people who do not hold a private hire vehicle driver’s licence to drive a licensed private hire vehicle when the vehicle is not being used as a private hire vehicle (for example, a licensed private hire vehicle driver’s partner could use the vehicle for a family outing

Taxis and private hire vehicles: duration of licences
Tom Brake
Oliver Heald


To move the following Clause:—

(1) The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 53 (drivers’ licences for hackney carriages and private hire vehicles)—
(a) in subsection (1)(a), for “for such lesser period as the district council may specify in such licence” substitute “for such lesser period, specified in the licence, as the district council think appropriate in the circumstances of the case”;
(b) in subsection (1)(b), for “for such lesser period as they may specify in such licence” substitute “for such lesser period, specified in the licence, as the district council think appropriate in the circumstances of the case”.
(3) In section 55 (licensing of operators of private hire vehicles), for subsection (2) substitute—
“(2) Every licence granted under this section shall remain in force for five years or for such lesser period, specified in the licence, as the district council think appropriate in the circumstances of the case.” ’.

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment inserts a new clause which sets a standard duration of three years for a taxi and private hire vehicle driver’s licence and a standard duration of five years for a private hire vehicle operator’s licence. A lesser period may be specified only if appropriate in a particular case. At present, licensing authorities could have a general policy of specifying a lesser period.

Private hire vehicles: sub-contracting
Tom Brake
Oliver Heald


To move the following Clause:—

‘In the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, after section 55 insert—

55A Sub-contracting by operators
(1) A person licensed under section 55 who has in a controlled district accepted a booking for a private hire vehicle may arrange for another person to provide a vehicle to carry out the booking if—
(a) the other person is licensed under section 55 in respect of the same controlled district and the sub-contracted booking is accepted in that district;
(b) the other person is licensed under section 55 in respect of another controlled district and the sub-contracted booking is accepted in that district;
(c) the other person is a London PHV operator and the subcontracted booking is accepted at an operating centre in London; or
(d) the other person accepts the sub-contracted booking in Scotland.
(2) It is immaterial for the purposes of subsection (1) whether or not subcontracting is permitted by the contract between the person licensed under section 55 who accepted the booking and the person who made the booking.
(3) Where a person licensed under section 55 in respect of a controlled district is also licensed under that section in respect of another controlled district, subsection (1) (so far as relating to paragraph (b) of that subsection) and section 55B(1) and (2) apply as if each licence were held by a separate person.
(4) Where a person licensed under section 55 in respect of a controlled district is also a London PHV operator, subsection (1) (so far as relating to paragraph (c) of that subsection) and section 55B(1) and (2) apply as if the person holding the licence under section 55 and the London PHV operator were separate persons.
(5) Where a person licensed under section 55 in respect of a controlled district also makes provision in the course of a business for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for a private hire car or taxi in Scotland, subsection (1) (so far as relating to paragraph (d) of that subsection) and section 55B(1) and (2) apply as if the person holding the licence under section 55 and the person making the provision in Scotland were separate persons.
In this subsection, “private hire car” and “taxi” have the same meaning as in sections 10 to 22 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
(6) In this section, “London PHV operator” and “operating centre” have the same meaning as in the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998.

55B Sub-contracting by operators: criminal liability
(1) In this section— “the first operator” means a person licensed under section 55 who has in a controlled district accepted a booking for a private hire vehicle and then made arrangements for another person to provide a vehicle to carry out
the booking in accordance with section 55A(1);
“the second operator” means the person with whom the first operator made the arrangements (and, accordingly, the person who accepted the subcontracted booking).
(2) The first operator is not to be treated for the purposes of section 46(1)(e) as operating a private hire vehicle by virtue of having invited or accepted the booking.
(3) The first operator is guilty of an offence if—
(a) the second operator is a person mentioned in section 55A(1)(a)
or (b),
(b) the second operator contravenes section 46(1)(e) in respect of the sub-contracted booking, and
(c) the first operator knew that the second operator would contravene section 46(1)(e) in respect of the booking.” ’.

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment inserts a new clause which allows a private hire vehicle operator to sub-contract a private hire vehicle booking to another operator who is licensed in a different licensing district outside London or based in London or in Scotland.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:41 pm 
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grandad wrote:
If a driver fails their medical, I would guess that they will have their license revoked.

That's not in the Bill.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
grandad wrote:
If a driver fails their medical, I would guess that they will have their license revoked.

That's not in the Bill.

Maybe not but i would put my shirt on it happening.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:49 pm 
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It sometimes makes sense to run a second car for your own use, If you run a PH vehicle or more than one then all that the costs incurred are tax deductable and is easily calculated and entered into your tax returns, now, if you start farting about with a mix of sizable Private use milage and new lower business use milage your going to stimulate the tax man into taking an unhealthy interest in your business. Best avoided if possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:50 pm 
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Alex wrote:
Finally, we want to consider the case for Government involvement in the licence conditions set by local authorities. For the next three weeks, we are asking the taxi and private hire trades outside London to give us examples of conditions attached to their licences which they consider to be overly restrictive or unreasonable. We are often told about burdensome conditions attached to taxi and private hire licences, and we know that appealing against these conditions in the magistrates court can be a costly process.

We want to understand whether these are in fact unreasonable licence conditions.

We will then consider those examples and weigh up the case for changing the law in such a way as to qualify local authorities’ powers to attach conditions to licences.

We have set up a survey facility to enable taxi and PHV licence holders outside London to provide examples of unreasonable licence conditions. Details of, and a link to, the survey are in the Annex.

Once we have received information about unreasonable licence conditions we will give licensing authorities the opportunity to explain why they consider the conditions to be important and necessary.

I would stress that whilst the information gathered in this exercise will help Ministers to make a decision about whether Government intervention is justified, we would carry out a consultation exercise before actually making any regulations.

Can't find the annex link anywhere, so when it does appear it will be an interesting option for many to put across daft regulations that apply. Nidge's yearly CRB/DBS would be a start.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:52 pm 
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Alex wrote:
The Law Commission is due to publish its report and draft Bill at the end of April. The Government will then have a year in which to consider the report and prepare a response.

This timescale for considering the Law Commission’s report means that there will not be time to take forward a dedicated Taxi Bill before the next General Election.

I think the above makes sense.

We have been waiting a very long time, another year isn't the end of the world.

But one wonders why the cross border stuff couldn't have waited. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Please find the Online Survey below;

DfT Online Survey

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:55 am 
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Having had a look at the actual wording of the proposed section I'm not convinced the barons will be happy.

:D :D :D

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:03 pm 
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one thing missing, being forced to change the vehicle colour

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:07 pm 
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skippy41 wrote:
one thing missing, being forced to change the vehicle colour

Explain?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:38 pm 
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grandad wrote:
skippy41 wrote:
one thing missing, being forced to change the vehicle colour

Explain?


Councils that force owners to change the vehicles colour like Bristol derby and others

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:51 pm 
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skippy41 wrote:
grandad wrote:
skippy41 wrote:
one thing missing, being forced to change the vehicle colour

Explain?


Councils that force owners to change the vehicles colour like Bristol derby and others

I would think that they will get a few replies from drivers in these areas.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:30 am 
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It seems the DfT has wasted £333,333 on a report they intend to shelve........that's shocking :shock:

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