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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:52 pm 
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Taxi for Councillor Robbins! as he books Uber in council meeting

https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/new ... l-meeting/

A SWINDON councillor booked himself a ride in an Uber taxi during a discussion of taxi licensing in town.

Jim Robbins had raised the issue of taxi drivers who specialise in longer journeys like airport trips, not being able to accept a job carrying someone back if it was through a different taxi company.

The council’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton told the scrutiny meeting: “We have a policy of one driver, one company.” The council says drivers must display the door sign of their company for safety, so passengers know they have the right vehicle and operator.

The number of drivers a company has on its books also affects the fee it pays to the council for its licence.

As part of the discussion, Ms Ashton said app-based Uber have not had a licence in Swindon since last year. Minutes later Coun Robbins said: “I’ve just booked an Uber. He’s going to be here in three minutes” before quickly cancelling the ride."

Ms Ashton said: “That’s possible, but it would not be licensed in Swindon. Uber are licensed in Bath, Bristol and South Gloucestershire and if the driver is nearby they can accept a fare in Swindon.”

Coun Robbins said: “I was surprised to hear at the scrutiny meeting that uber aren’t operating in Swindon. A quick check on my phone in the meeting allowed me to book an Uber to pick me up at the council’s offices just three minutes later. The driver is quite correctly registered with South Gloucestershire council but can operate in the town. I have subsequently discovered we have a taxi driver living in the town who is registered in Blackburn and Darwen, some 190 miles away.

“All this was in response to a question about why we can’t be more open to those taxi drivers in the town who want to be free to work for more operators to maximise their earnings and stop having to have journeys back from the airports with no passengers.

“If we can accommodate Blackburn’s taxi drivers, I see no reason why we can’t be more supportive to those who live in the town.”


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:55 pm 
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The council’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton told the scrutiny meeting: “We have a policy of one driver, one company.” The council says drivers must display the door sign of their company for safety, so passengers know they have the right vehicle and operator.


Not entirely clear what this article is all about, but the above in particular and the cross-border stuff suggests it's about cars working for more than one operator.

But think the stuff about licensing in Blackburn isn't really related to the one driver/one operator question.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:34 pm 
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The council’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton told the scrutiny meeting: “We have a policy of one driver, one company.”

I would love to see the legal advice that came with that bone-head policy.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:26 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
The council’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton told the scrutiny meeting: “We have a policy of one driver, one company.”

I would love to see the legal advice that came with that bone-head policy.

I can see the logic here. Drivers are supposed to deposit their paper drivers badge with the company they intend to work for, thus only working for one company. If another company wants to sub contract a booking to that driver it has to go through his operator. Then it is legal. However it seems to suggest that a driver can't accept a booking direct from any other company within his own district.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:27 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Quote:
The council’s licensing manager Kathryn Ashton told the scrutiny meeting: “We have a policy of one driver, one company.”

I would love to see the legal advice that came with that bone-head policy.

I can see the logic here. Drivers are supposed to deposit their paper drivers badge with the company they intend to work for, thus only working for one company. If another company wants to sub contract a booking to that driver it has to go through his operator. Then it is legal. However it seems to suggest that a driver can't accept a booking direct from any other company within his own district.



which might be at odds with consumer law :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:13 pm 
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Swindon council policy on private hire drivers to be discussed

https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/new ... discussed/

PRIVATE hire drivers might be able to work for two different operators in Swindon if a new policy is agreed by councillors.

Swindon Borough Council’s licensing committee will be asked to consider allowing one driver to work for different operators after Mannington and Western councillor Jim Robbins has lodged the suggestion with the committee.

Last month he spoke at the scrutiny committee and said the current policy threw up anomalies.

He said he had spoken to a number of drivers who did a lot of journeys to air and seaports and it would be more economic, efficient and more environmentally friendly if after dropping off passengers, they could wait for and pick up passengers returning to Swindon, rather than another driver, working for another company, making a special trip to the same airport to pick them up.

At that meeting licensing manager Kathryn Ashton said that was against council policy of “one driver, one badge, one operator,” and that was necessary for public safety.

In his submission to the planning department, Coun Robbins said: “The current system would require a private hire driver to give notice to the operator that they are driving for, collect their green form, physically take it to another company and start driving for them.

“Can we review the council policy of one licence per driver to allow drivers to pay for multiple copies of their licence, so that they can drive for more than one operator? Drivers have suggested that they would be happy to pay up to £10 for each duplicate licence.”

The meeting starts at 5.30pm on March 14 in the civic offices.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:01 pm 
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PRIVATE hire drivers might be able to work for two different operators in Swindon if a new policy is agreed by councillors.

What a novel idea?

Maybe next they can discuss giving women the vote. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:26 pm 
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And so Swindon Council remain in the 18th century. ](*,)

Private taxi drivers in Swindon won't be able to work for another operator

PRIVATE taxi drivers in Swindon will not be able to work for more than one operator.

Members of the borough council’s licensing committee voted against allowing the change. The system where private hire drivers – who drive vehicles which have to be pre-booked – must register with the council as working for one operator will be retained.

The change was originally suggested by Labour councillor Jim Robbins. He said he had been asked by drivers who do a lot of airport and port work, and it would allow them to take bookings on the reverse journey as well – saving money and fuel and pollution.

But the low response to a consultation of drivers in Swindon by the borough's licensing team went some way to sway the councillors not to change.

Council licensing manager Kathryn Ashton said: “We only got six responses, which is very disappointing, especially as the team did a lot of work to remind people to respond when the deadline was coming up.”

Ms Ashton said the results were less than conclusive.

She said: “It’s not helpful – four out of six responses voted to allow drivers to be able to work for more than one operator, but the same number, sometimes the same people, voted not to change the current system, where they can’t do that.”

Coun John Ballman said: “I think that shows that there’s no real demand for this change.

"The low response rate and the mixed response itself shows that this isn’t something people are crying out for.”

Andrew Lucas, the chairman of the Swindon Hackney Drivers Association said: “Be wary of opening up Pandora’s box.”

He said if drivers were allowed to take fares from multiple operators it could allow ride hailing apps like Uber and others to start operating in Swindon.

This would see one driver being able to work for a number of apps.

Expert Desmond Broster from the National Taxi Safeguarding Service also warned against the change.

He said: “You have an excellent system in Swindon.

"You don’t want the shambles you see in Bristol, with one driver with four different operators’ badges on his car. That leads to drivers picking up people who have booked through different operators, and sometimes the wrong people.”

Councillors voted unanimously to keep the current system.

Coun Robbins said: “I’m really disappointed to hear this decision.

“It would have been a great environmental decision to allow those drivers who take passengers to airports to allow them to find fares from other operators for their return journeys rather than returning empty and have a car from another operator make the journey as well.”

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:28 pm 
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Expert Desmond Broster from the National Taxi Safeguarding Service also warned against the change.

My first thought was who the f*** were they and him, but google tell me that he is a licensing officer and a top bod at NALEO.

You would have thought that even NALEO would understand 'restriction of trade' legislation.

But then again maybe not. [-(

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:21 pm 
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He said if drivers were allowed to take fares from multiple operators it could allow ride hailing apps like Uber and others to start operating in Swindon.

Nothing to stop Uber and the rest setting up in Swindon under the current policy.

Of course, allowing multi-op drivers would maybe help Uber get a toehold in the likes of Swindon. But doubt if Uber will be expanding anywhere in the forseeable future anyway, unless via acquistions.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:19 am 
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Interesting that they can't do anything to stop operators and drivers licensed from outside Swindon for working in Swindon but they want to restrict their own drivers from getting work from anywhere but Swindon. It is no wonder Wolverhampton are making a killing on licensing.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:24 am 
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I think they are just yet another council that likes to take decisions to make it look as if they are doing something but without actually understanding what they are making a decision on!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:50 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
I think they are just yet another council that likes to take decisions to make it look as if they are doing something but without actually understanding what they are making a decision on!

Looks like another council that hasn't got a f***ing clue about the laws of the land.

Supported by made up organisations that should know better.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:49 pm 
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Interesting council this.

Always been very 'lax' in regards of executive services. For instance, if you work for a 'chauffeur company' in Swindon you get you PH licence without having to take the knowledge test that you would if you were driving around town on a Saturday night.

I went to see them once to give them evidence that there was an unlicensed chauffeur company operating extensively in the town. Mr Shears then the enforcement officer (he later got promoted) looked me straight in the eyes and said 'this is sour grapes from you isn't it, they are decent guys in decent cars, nothing to worry about. You're only moaning because they are stepping on your toes'.

I wasn't impressed and nor was the Local Government Ombudsman.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:46 pm 
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I'm most certainly not impressed.

Any council making laws up themselves deserves to be classed as 'basket case'.

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