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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:17 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Today the Gov published their response to The Task Force recommendations, which I think have been overshadowed by the Best Practice Guidance.

Government Response to the Report of the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing

Two interesting bits, amongst many, are the Gov has ruled out any powers to limit the numbers of PH vehicles, and that on balance they agree with the 'must start or finish in your licensing area' proposal.

The latter being quite interesting. :D


Just how would that work In a Border Frontier town like Berwick if they can freely pick up passengers a mile from Berwick just over the Border In Scotland and drop them In another Scottish village say six miles up the road.....All that Journey would be out of area but still legal under Scottish Licensing laws.

Yet if A Scottish Borders Taxi carried out a similar scenario Journey on the English side of the border it would be deemed under these new English laws to have been illegal?

There has to be some sort of reciprocal rights or exemptions of movement over the entire length of the Scotland / England border or it would lead to an unlevel playing field where the English Taxis/PHs can work with impunity in Scotland without fear of prosecution and us Scottish Drivers Can't do likewise.

The way the Border between Scotland and England lies creates many a Scenario where getting a Taxi from over the Border to a location also out of the Taxis own area will save a huge amount on the fare, it should be the customers choice as to who they use in such circumstances.

An easy way out of such a predicament is to have a 10 mile mutual exclusion zone either side of the England/Scotland demarcation line, this neither benefits nor disadvantages Taxis or PH's on working under either an English or Scottish jurasdiction and it allows the customer a choice on which taxi would be the more practical as regards their location.

It's quite unlike a English County border as these are all under English jurasdiction.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:06 am 
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A lot of our airport work is picking up just outside our district and going to East Midlands, Birmingham, Manchester or Heathrow. We have a regular customer who we pick up just over the district border in Rutland to go to Luton. Are all these journeys going to be illegal?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:45 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Think these are the relevant provisions in the Scottish legislation. Subsection (1) basically says you need a licence to work in a particular area, while (2) provides exemptions for cars licensed in another area.

It's clear as mud, but essentially I think it would accommodate Grandad's scenario, but wouldn't allow cars to hang around out-of-area waiting on bookings to come through, ie it would prohibit what's causing headaches in England.

Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 wrote:
21 Offences.

(1) If any person—

(a) operates, or permits the operation of, a taxi within an area in respect of which its operation requires to be but is not licensed or the driver requires to be but is not licensed, or

(b) picks up passengers in, or permits passengers to be picked up by, a private hire car within an area in respect of which its operation requires to be but is not licensed or the driver requires to be but is not licensed,

that person shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding [F1level 4 on the standard scale].

(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply to the operation of a taxi or private hire car within an area in respect of which its operation or its driver is not licensed if the request for its hiring was received by its driver [F2(otherwise than in a public place from the person to be conveyed in it, or a person acting on his behalf, for a journey beginning there and then)] whilst—

(a) in the area or in that part thereof in respect of which its operation and its driver are licensed;

(b) engaged on hire on a journey which began in that area or part or will end there; or

(c) returning to that area or part immediately following completion of a journey on hire.


https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1982/45/section/21


Subsection 2 seems to contradict subsection 1 if the booking was made to the driver by a passenger who may have been somewhere else at the time they booked the run....how the hell does a driver know where someone with a mobile at the time physically is when they book a taxi, they could have pre booked the run a week before from anywhere in the world.

(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply to the operation of a taxi or private hire car within an area in respect of which its operation or its driver is not licensed if the request for its hiring was received by its driver [F2(otherwise than in a public place from the person to be conveyed in it, or a person acting on his behalf, for a journey beginning there and then)] whilst—

This rather Implies that booking a Pre Booked taxi or PH from anywhere to anywhere is ok and that it seems to be targeting Out of Area Hacks and Opportunist out of Area PH's as well as out of area hacks from loitering within another area in the hope of picking up work off the street.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Recommendation 2.

Government should legislate for national minimum standards for taxi and PHV licensing - for drivers, vehicles and operators (see recommendation 6). The national minimum standards that relate to the personal safety of passengers must be set at a level to ensure a high minimum safety standard across every authority in England. Government must convene a panel of regulators, passenger safety groups and operator representatives to determine the national minimum safety standards. Licensing authorities should, however, be able to set additional higher standards in safety and all other aspects depending on the requirements of the local areas if they wish to do so.


Quote:
Government must convene a panel of regulators, passenger safety groups and operator representatives

Wonder if taxi/PH drivers might be asked? :-k


If it is anything like the past couple of panel participants the answer is probably no,I have not as yet being invited to participate.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:36 pm 
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bloodnock wrote:
Subsection 2 seems to contradict subsection 1 if the booking was made to the driver by a passenger who may have been somewhere else at the time they booked the run....how the hell does a driver know where someone with a mobile at the time physically is when they book a taxi, they could have pre booked the run a week before from anywhere in the world.


Not entirely sure what you mean, but don't think the location of the punter is at all relevant to what this section is saying - it's the location of the *driver* when "the request for its hiring was received".

So basically, as long as you're in your own area when you take the booking then the punter could be anywhere.

Or if you're on a job to another area, or returning to your own area then that's fine as well.

But, if I'm reading it correctly then a quirk is that you as a Borders-licensed cab could do a run from Edinburgh to Fife (say), but if you were on that job then you couldn't take another job, because it's not one where the hire starts or finishes in your area, but you could take a call in Fife once you've dumped the passenger because you just have to be returning to your area, and it's irrelevant where you're returning from #-o

Another quirk I think is that I lived in Dundee for most of the time I've had a Fife plate, but couldn't take calls when at home in Dundee, because to take a call in Dundee I would have to either be on a job to there or returning to Fife from a job or with a job #-o

So if I was going to work in Fife from home in Dundee I could take a job as long as I was half way across the Tay Bridge (a mile and a half long?), so not that easy to judge when it was legal to take a call :lol: (I'm assuming the Dundee/Fife border is half way across the Tay Bridge, but to be honest I'm not 100% sure where it is :oops: )

By the same token, if you're in Edinburgh on a job then you can take a call, but you can't if you're in Edinburgh shopping? #-o

I think 8-[

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This rather Implies that booking a Pre Booked taxi or PH from anywhere to anywhere is ok and that it seems to be targeting Out of Area Hacks and Opportunist out of Area PH's as well as out of area hacks from loitering within another area in the hope of picking up work off the street.


Don't think it's so much targeting out of area cars picking up off the street as simply targeting pre-booked operations licensed in one area from working almost wholly in another area.

Say Edinburgh said that all PH had to be brand new to be plated, and off the road after three years old. So a firm licenses hundreds of PHCs in the Borders to get round this, and runs them from a base in Selkirk, but they're all actually working in and stationed in Edinburgh.

That would be OK in England (even before the Deregulation Act 2015), but not allowed in Scotland because of these rules.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:01 pm 
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It's my view that the most contentious issue coming from the Task Force, that the governemnt seem to support and plan to go forward with, is the issue of taxis/PHVs not working in their licensing area.

TFG Recommendation 11
Government should legislate that all taxi and PHV journeys should start and/or end within the area for which the driver, vehicle and operator (PHVs and taxis – see recommendation 6) are licensed. Appropriate measures should be in place to allow specialist services such as chauffeur and disability transport services to continue to operate cross border.
Operators should not be restricted from applying for and holding licences with multiple authorities, subject to them meeting both national standards and any additional requirements imposed by the relevant licensing authority.


The government response to that recommendation is,

Government Response
2.30 There are clearly a range of views within the sector and interested parties about how cross-border, or out-of-area, journeys by taxis and PHVs should be permitted or restricted. This can clearly be seen in the range of views expressed by individual members of the TFG in their comments in the annex to the report.
2.31 Currently, a PHV journey can take place anywhere in England provided that the driver, vehicle and operator are licensed by the same licensing authority. However,the licensing requirements in different areas (for example, the training required of drivers or the vehicle standards set) can vary considerably.
2.32 Such variations, combined with the freedom to carry out journeys anywhere, can incentivise drivers or operators to license away from the area where they actually intend to carry out work. This means that the ability of local licensing authorities to set and maintain taxi and PHV standards for their local areas is undermined.
2.33 We acknowledge the view that national minimum standards will go some way towards resolving that problem. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust noted in its comments on the TFG report that it did not support recommendation 11 because the introduction of national minimum standards would resolve the current practice of drivers choosing which licensing authority to obtain their licence from based on "less stringent" safety checks.
2.34 Even with national minimum standards in place, there will still be variations in licensing conditions (and therefore matters like licence costs and processing times), since the Government does not intend to remove the ability of licensing authorities to set their own local standards in matters not covered by the national minimum standards, or above and beyond those minimum standards. Local authorities are accountable for licensing in their areas and it is only right that they have the powers to properly shape and influence their local market.
2.35 Government therefore agrees with the principle of this recommendation, and will consider further (with a view to legislation) how it might best work in detail. In particular, Government will need to consider what size of area is appropriate. We will also consider what flexibilities or exemptions might be needed to reduce or avoid negative impacts on any particular business models, types of transport or passenger, and businesses or localities that are close to (perhaps multiple) licensing authority borders.


I can see the outcome being that vehicles from adjoining licensing authorities will be able to cross border, but vehicles from further afield will not. Also exemptions for contract work, i.e. school runs and airport work, will also be exempt.

So it will not please those of us that want a complete ban, but it's fair to say that there are a lot of good guys who have for years fulfilled contract work that would otherwise be banned by the start/finish proposals.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:39 pm 
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Just rewrite the thing..

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: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:29 am 
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MR T wrote:

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


Was this not a proposal in the deregulation bill that was removed by an amendment?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:00 pm 
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I rather get the Impession this task force decided to create changes just for the sake of creating changes without much thought as to why change was actually needed, and once they started they found difficulty in finding things worth changing and rather than lose face they ploughed on blindly, twisting and turning like a mouse in a laboratory maze.

Fotrunately for them there was another group of people who also love to create change for the sake of creating change and who also plough through a maze without any sense of direction and with no thought as to how or why.....that other group is the Westminter Parliament who'll think the whole thing is splendid and must be implemented for the sake of it being implemented in a bid to look as if they are earning their salt.

Finally they'll process all this and send it on down the line to other interested parties who also like needless change for the sake of needless change....The Local Authorities and Licensing officers.

And after much tax payers expense we'll have something shiny and new which will be pretty much what we had before but shinier and costlier.

Maybe I'm just a good old fashioned Cynic.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:30 pm 
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Simple solution, adopt the Scottish l982 act


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:42 pm 
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The Taxi Task Force's Chair, Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee on the 27th March 2019.

http://data.parliament.uk/writteneviden ... 98749.html

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:01 pm 
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Professor Abdel-Haq: The main takeaway from my point of view is that currently the public is at risk. This is truly shocking. I never imagined that someone who committed an offence would be a taxi driver or a private hire vehicle driver in Oxford. Allow me to give examples about Oxford because I live in Oxford. He could go to another town, get a licence and come back to Oxford to do whatever he can. Nobody can stop him because he is licensed somewhere else. I had to read that a few times to believe whether I understood the case correctly or not. That is the main takeaway.

The last words in my introduction were that there is no time to waste. Our young daughters and sisters are there in the street, and they are entitled to be safe. I am a father of four daughters. I expect a certain minimum standard when they go out. We, the public, have expectations from taxis: “I am in a taxi and I am safe.” That is the main takeaway.

Can't argue with that.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:25 pm 
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I cannot see the logic of some people getting a licence in a different town and spending most of their time in another town.

Quite.

Other than the other area has rubbish entry criteria, and allows any old tat in.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:52 pm 
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Professor Abdel-Haq: Our kids do not know what is a taxi or what is private hire. They order it and someone comes who is supposed to take them from A to B, and they say, “Mum, Dad, I’m safe.” Suddenly, we hear all those horror stories, and then someone says, “We don’t have time, I’m sorry.” That is beyond me to accept. I do not know how our politicians could take on such a responsibility. Let me tell you that the public will not be generous in forgiving this time, because we have said loudly and clearly that this is the case and they should act immediately.

With all due respect, when they tell me that they will use their best endeavours, it reminds me of something Lord Patten said recently: “If someone says best endeavours, I immediately reach for my gun.” It means nothing. Or they say, “Whenever time allows.” Remind me, when does time allow, unless you put something as a priority? This is not a challenge for officials. This is a judgment issue and a challenge for politicians, and they need to deliver.

Strong stuff. =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

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