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 Post subject: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:11 pm 
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Transport

The Secretary of State was asked—

Taxi and Private Hire Industry

1. Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central) (Lab): What representations he has received on his proposed reforms to the regulation of the taxi and private hire industry.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Robert Goodwill): The Department undertook a targeted consultation in January with the intention of seeking immediate reactions to three proposed taxi and private hire vehicle measures, for inclusion in the Deregulation Bill. Our position on the measures is clear: they are liberalising, cost-saving steps that will benefit many thousands of small businesses and customers throughout the country.

Paul Blomfield: I must tell the Minister that drivers in Sheffield have expressed grave concern to me about his proposals. They fear that these rushed changes, which will allow minicab operators to subcontract bookings to other operators in a different district, could result in drivers working hundreds of miles away from their home licensing authority, and that our licensing authority in Sheffield would be unable to carry out effective enforcement. Does the Minister share those drivers’ fear that the changes will put the public’s safety at risk?

Mr Goodwill: No, I do not. In fact, I believe that the changes will give the public a better service. For example, if someone rings a private hire vehicle company and all its vehicles—or, perhaps, all its disabled-access vehicles—are occupied, it will be able to call on another company from across the border to fill the gap. People will get the service that they want, and I do not believe that safety will be compromised at all.

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield) (Lab): Will the Minister reflect on the fact that if his proposals are implemented, someone who gets into a minicab will not know whether it has come from the company that he or she telephoned, will not be able to assume that the person driving it is licensed to do so, and will not even be able to assume that the car itself has been passed as okay to carry passengers in his or her own town or city? Expert opinion after expert opinion has warned the Minister that all this could put passengers’ safety at risk. Why does he feel that he knows better than anyone else?

Mr Goodwill: I do not accept those criticisms. The fact that a company is registered across the border in another local authority area does not mean that it will not meet the standards that apply in that local authority area. This is about more flexibility and a better service for people using private hire vehicles.

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 Post subject: Re: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:33 pm 
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Quote:
or, perhaps, all its disabled-access vehicles—are occupied


It most get pretty boring hearing this all day long when you're disabled, it'd p*ss me off politicians using the disabled tag like it's some kind of brownie point :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:18 am 
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Mr Goodwill: No, I do not. In fact, I believe that the changes will give the public a better service. For example, if someone rings a private hire vehicle company and all its vehicles—or, perhaps, all its disabled-access vehicles—are occupied, it will be able to call on another company from across the border to fill the gap. People will get the service that they want, and I do not believe that safety will be compromised at all.


except for the fact PH companies are not obliged to have wheelchair accessible vehicles :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 11:07 am 
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Mr Goodwill: I do not accept those criticisms. The fact that a company is registered across the border in another local authority area does not mean that it will not meet the standards that apply in that local authority area. This is about more flexibility and a better service for people using private hire vehicles.


except of course the authority where the vehicle is working wont have any authority over either the operator or the driver crossing the border......and the standards differ from authority to authority ffs ](*,)

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 Post subject: Re: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:11 pm 
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What the minister didn't say
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We have already taken the backhander - I mean political donation :oops:


:badgrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:08 am 
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All of which means we really DO need a national set of standards for vehicle with enforcement being carried out by any authority on behalf of any other authority, rather like VOSA (insert latest name) does with lorries and buses.

At the moment there's nothing to stop a punter in Manchester ordering a ph car from Plymouth if they wanted to. How many of YOU take a call from "the airport" 2 counties away for a fare back to your county?


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 Post subject: Re: Commons Questions
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:19 am 
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roythebus wrote:

At the moment there's nothing to stop a punter in Manchester ordering a ph car from Plymouth if they wanted to. How many of YOU take a call from "the airport" 2 counties away for a fare back to your county?

I take bookings to and from East Midlands airport from addresses in Rutland quite regularly. Some times from Rutland to Luton, Stansted or Heathrow, on these journeys once the passenger has been picked up the vehicle does not even enter my own LA

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