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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:29 am 
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Middlesbrough MPs speak out against plans to "deregulate" taxi industry


Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop raises concerns over impact of proposed deregulation

A Teesside MP has spoken out against a shake-up of licensing laws quoting the “repugnant” row between Boro Taxis and disabled passengers.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop was speaking at a debate at Westminster Hall about the Law Commission’s plans to deregulate the taxi industry.

The Law Commission is considering plans to combine rules covering hackney carriages and private hire vehicles and replacing local licensing arrangements with a UK-wide approach.

Easington Labour MP Grahame Morris staged an earlier Commons debate to raise concerns about sudden moves to cut so-called “red tape” on private hire firms.

Mr Blenkinsop’s main concern was that a change could allow firms to discriminate against disabled passengers.

Under plans being considered by Parliament, firms will be allowed to send work to their rivals, meaning customers will no longer be able to specify which company picks them up.

Disabled customers would be treated as “liabilities”, Mr Blenkinsop said.

“At the beginning of this year Boro Taxis hit the headlines both locally and nationally for what many would see as an exploitation of and disregard for disabled passengers,” he said.

On December 31, 2013 it was reported that Middlesbrough Council’s licensing department had found that a number of private hire operators were charging up to twice the standard fare for disabled passengers, in particular wheelchair users.

The council sent notices to those operators who charged more to take disabled passengers and warned them they were in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Mr Blenkinsop claimed further deregulation would mean such cases would become more common and it would be harder to manage the taxi industry.

He added that Mohammed Bashir, owner of Boro Taxis, said on January 11 that his company’s practice at that time was “morally and totally wrong”.

Boro Taxis then refused to carry any disabled passengers provoking a widespread backlash. After the backlash they performed a “welcome U-turn” on the issue.

The Law Commission will publish its final report on May 23.

source: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teess ... st-7050367

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:05 am 
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captain cab wrote:
Disabled customers would be treated as “liabilities”, Mr Blenkinsop said.

Someone please remind me which section would lead to the above?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:57 am 
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Sussex wrote:
captain cab wrote:
Disabled customers would be treated as “liabilities”, Mr Blenkinsop said.

Someone please remind me which section would lead to the above?

Some of them just seem to make things up to get a headline.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:15 am 
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Quote:
Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop was speaking at a debate at Westminster Hall about the Law Commission’s plans to deregulate the taxi industry.


Would someone remind the MP that they were there to debate the deregulation bill - or at the very least inform the newspaper that probably mis reported it. ](*,)

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