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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:56 am 
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Blind Trafford councillor concerned by proposed taxi de-regulation


A BLIND Trafford councillor has raised concerns over planned de-regulation of taxis which she believes could put passengers at serious risk.

Urmston Labour councillor, Catherine Hynes, was speaking after a debate was held at Trafford Council to discuss an opposition motion condemning government plans, which includes scrapping annual checks on licences and enabling people without minicab licences to drive them when the cab is deemed 'off duty'.

Cllr Hynes told Messenger: "As someone who cannot drive or use public transport I rely on taxis in order to function in the world with independence."

She said many people like herself depended on the regular use of cabs for their independence, which in her case included ferrying her children about.

She explained: "People who do this without a thought because they have trust and faith that that the local authority has vetted the driver and their vehicle and they believe it will be safer for them to travel."

She added: "Aside from those people who we might think of as being vulnerable, it is the case that most people become vulnerable when they get into a taxi with someone they don't know. And what I want is for the assurance of robust regulation to remain."


Cllr Mike Freeman, opposition spokesperson for licensing committee, said “The first duty of the council must be to public safety, especially to vulnerable residents who rely on a safe taxi service.

“The ‘taxi’ reforms within the De-regulation Bill will compromise public safety and local authorities will be powerless to prevent this happening.”

Meanwhile, Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green said she wanted to make sure the current system of criminal and background checks on drivers and also who should drive them should remain.

She explained: “This, together with the increased numbers of out of town taxis in the borough, is a real threat to the safety of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Many people, particularly women and those with impaired mobility, rely on taxis and mini-cabs to get home safely. I’m worried that these plans will increase the number of rogue drivers on Trafford’s roads.

“I’m calling on the government to abandon these proposals and put passenger safety first.”

Trafford Council declined to comment.

source: http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/ne ... ?ref=var_0

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:08 pm 
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Nothing to stop an unlicensed driver taking a licensed vehicle out, I could hand over my keys to a mate and let them go out and do a shift - the chances of getting caught are pretty slim.
In 12 years of driving I have never had my badge checked by a passenger or any authority, never been pulled for a roadside check and never been asked to go to a testing station other than for the required pit tests.

On one occasion whilst I was parked up a passing council trading standards officer asked to check all my lights were working and had a quick walk round the car, but didn't look at my badge or anything else.

Bring in as many laws as you like, but unless the police and LA are out every night stopping and checking as many vehicles as they can the problem will still persist.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:12 am 
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sasha wrote:
Nothing to stop an unlicensed driver taking a licensed vehicle out, I could hand over my keys to a mate and let them go out and do a shift - the chances of getting caught are pretty slim.
In 12 years of driving I have never had my badge checked by a passenger or any authority, never been pulled for a roadside check and never been asked to go to a testing station other than for the required pit tests.

On one occasion whilst I was parked up a passing council trading standards officer asked to check all my lights were working and had a quick walk round the car, but didn't look at my badge or anything else.

Bring in as many laws as you like, but unless the police and LA are out every night stopping and checking as many vehicles as they can the problem will still persist.


You clearly have pi55 poor enforcement and checks where you are and I thought ours was bad. I've been stopped several times with VOSA and police involvement, vehicle checked and badge checked. We have annual checks on the roads here and the licence officers are out quite regularly but not as much as they should be in recent years.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:33 pm 
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toots wrote:
You clearly have pi55 poor enforcement and checks where you are.
We do.
It may just be that each time they come out they find few faults and therefore think extra checks uneccessary, or that as soon as they start checks everyone knows and avoids that area. Plus we know officers are out and about doing other duties during the day and occasionaly checking cabs parked up as they see them, not all the time or every day but completely random. That keeps us on our toes.

Actual licensing checks only happen about twice a year (usually bank holiday saturday nights!) when they're inspecting pubs and clubs and at the same time check a few cabs, and if they find any with a bulb out or minor fault it gets sent to the testing station for a full check. I can only recall one occasion where there was a joint police/VOSA roadblock and that was just checking commercial vehicles, another with the council/police waved past any cabs with passengers on board and just checked drivers, bulbs and tyres of a handful who were waved in, I think that night they were looking for scrap dealers mostly.

But the enforcement of overanking, touting and forming illegal ranks is non-existant - I even complained about the rank issues just to get a reply that they would only act if there was a risk to public safety, that they have discretion and turn a blind eye to such matters !


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