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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:31 pm 
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Southampton taxi drivers urge council to relax rules

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SOUTHAMPTON taxi drivers are calling on licensing chiefs to relax the regulations so they can work for more than one company.

They are asking Southampton City Council to allow them to use magnetic door signs on their cars in a bid to enable drivers to work for more than one firm and reduce the risks of taxis being vandalised.

The city council said magnetic door signs are not allowed in a bid to protect the public.

The door signs show the name of the taxi company and licensing authority.

But Ali Haydor, the Southampton private hire trade representative, said the use of permanent door signs is preventing taxi drivers from working for more than one company at a time.

He said the industry has been hit by the pandemic and he claimed that the number of taxis being broken into has also increased over the past year.

“If you have a magnetic sticker you can take it off. Why are we being penalised?”, Mr Haydor said.

He also added: “Because of the hard time we have now there’s been not enough work and we have the opportunity to work for multiple companies.”

Mr Haydor also claimed that more taxis with a permanent sign are being vandalised.

He added: “Sometimes vandals can think there may be something valuable [in the taxi] and they may break in. In some cases things have been stolen but in most cases it is just damages and once a vehicle is out of action you can’t go to work.”

In a statement the city council said: “The primary role of licensing is public safety, it is for this reason we do not allow magnetic door signs to be used.

"Magnetic signs are easily stolen and placed on unlicensed vehicles to give the appearance of a licensed vehicle to be used for unlawful purposes. We require the vehicle to display the current operator to assist the fare in identifying the vehicle they have booked.

"The removal of either of these safety requirements will not increase the volume of work available to the trade as a whole. The number of customers is going to remain the same.

"We are not aware of any increase in vehicles being damaged and to our knowledge incidents of vandalism to licensed vehicles remain low.

"We are proud of our record with safety.

"We were the first authority to mandate the fitting of taxi cameras and continue to be a leading authority in this area and as such will always recommend the public ensure they chose a Southampton licensed vehicle.”

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:32 pm 
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Just have a generic PH door sign, rather than one advertising a specific firm.

:-$

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:05 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Just have a generic PH door sign, rather than one advertising a specific firm.

:-$

Wouldn't help customers IDing the car, though, which is what it's all about?

Not sure if this multi-operator thing is a bit of a red herring, though - would local firms allow cars to work with Uber?

So it's maybe more about being able to remove signs when not working, or whatever.

Slightly amusing how the U-word isn't mentioned in the article, though, and Uber on the doorsign has been blanked out in the photo. But underneath it clearly says to download the Uber app, so what's the point of blurring out the bigger Uber lettering above? :-s


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:59 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Sussex wrote:

Slightly amusing how the U-word isn't mentioned in the article, though, and Uber on the doorsign has been blanked out in the photo. But underneath it clearly says to download the Uber app, so what's the point of blurring out the bigger Uber lettering above? :-s

It made me chuckle as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:56 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Not sure if this multi-operator thing is a bit of a red herring, though - would local firms allow cars to work with Uber?


Will depend on how the employment case goes with Uber I suppose. Most ops make use of self employed drivers.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:15 pm 
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Karga wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Not sure if this multi-operator thing is a bit of a red herring, though - would local firms allow cars to work with Uber?


Will depend on how the employment case goes with Uber I suppose. Most ops make use of self employed drivers.

Indeed, that could be a game-changer.

But I meant 'would local firms allow Uber working' as things stand - he seems to be talking about the current scenario rather than what might happen after the Supreme Court ruling.

Don't know if Ola maybe operating down there, or maybe some local app, but I'm assuming that at present it's either Uber or a local operator, and drivers don't really have the option to work for more than one in practical terms (another possibility is maybe his own operator's licence, which I assume Uber would be fine with).

But to the extent that in reality drivers there have no option other than to work for a single firm then the licensing argument is based on a false premise of multi-operator working, and in reality it's more about the ability to remove signage if required, most obviously for social, domestic and pleasure driving rather than for commercial use.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:22 pm 
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Quote:
Wouldn't help customers IDing the car, though, which is what it's all about?

The vast majority of firms now use a Uber type face and vehicle details process.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:46 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Wouldn't help customers IDing the car, though, which is what it's all about?

The vast majority of firms now use a Uber type face and vehicle details process.

Rule does seem a tad antiquated, but I suppose still required for the other firms. And I suppose could just be viewed as additional safeguard.

Of course, that many (most?) councils don't allow multi-operators for drivers shows that licensing law out of line with employment law :-o


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:40 pm 
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Southampton taxi drivers Civic Centre protest magnetic stickers

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SOUTHAMPTON taxi drivers took to council doors, demanding for regulations to be relaxed so they can work for more than one company.

At least 30 of them went to the Civic Centre on Monday morning protesting to be given flexibility in their jobs.

They want Southampton City Council to allow them to use magnetic door signs on their cars in a bid to enable drivers to work for more than one firm and reduce the risks of taxis being vandalised.

The city council said magnetic door signs, which show the name of the taxi company and licensing authority, are not allowed in a bid to protect the public.

However protest organiser Ali Haydor, the Southampton private hire trade representative, has hit back saying the council's policy doesn't cover out-of-town taxi cars.

He said: "This has been going on for a long time and they keep on saying they want to protect the public. We’re saying that’s fair enough. But what public are we talking about, are we talking about city citizens?

"If that’s the case, you’re not dealing with them. Out-of-town cars licensed by other councils are using our lanes to pick up the same public in Southampton they are trying to protect."

"We understand council policy, we just want to have a bit of leniency as we have got to follow all of these rules."

Ali added that his drivers have to follow the council's rules while other taxi drivers are getting licenses from elsewhere.

Mr Haydor, who organised the protest with newly-elected representative Jamilur Rahman, also claimed that more taxis with a permanent sign are being vandalised.

He said: "We want to be able to take the signs off to give us privacy. Not all of these drivers from out-of-town have to have stickers. We want the flexibility."

Southampton City Councillor Dave Shields, cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “The primary role of licensing is public safety and therefore we do not allow magnetic door signs. Magnetic signs can easily be stolen and placed on an unlicensed vehicles, giving the appearance of a licensed vehicle that could be used for unlawful purposes.

"We require the vehicle to display the current operator to assist those using the taxi to identify the vehicle they have booked.

"There is no evidence that supports the argument that the removal of either of these safety requirements will increase the volume of work available to the trade as a whole.

"The number of customers will remain the same. We are not aware of any increase in the number of vehicles being damaged and to our knowledge incidents of vandalism to licensed vehicles remain low.

"We are proud of our record with safety and were the first authority to mandate the fitting of taxi cameras and as a leading authority in this area, we will always recommend that the public chose a Southampton licensed vehicle.”

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:46 pm 
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Since the debate is about amateurish signage, you'd think they'd have used less amateurish looking signage for their protest :-s


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:58 am 
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Surely there's an easy way around this. Permanent signs on cars with licencing authority and plate number and magnetic signs for operator.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:41 pm 
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Karga wrote:
Surely there's an easy way around this. Permanent signs on cars with licencing authority and plate number and magnetic signs for operator.



is the sensible answer

and those are PH drivers not taxi drivers outside the council offices :evil:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:54 pm 
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Southampton taxi traders back city council in policy row

A GROUP of taxi traders in Southampton has backed civic chiefs following a row over some regulations.

Some taxi drivers in the city said the city council should not allow drivers of private hire vehicles to use magnetic door signs as the safety of customers "must come first".

The news comes as earlier this week some taxi drivers protested outside the civic centre.

They asked licensing bosses to allow drivers of private hire vehicles to use magnetic door signs instead of permanent ones so that drivers could work for more than one company.

But Southampton City Council said magnetic door signs are not allowed in a bid to protect the public.

Now a group of traders in the city has backed the authority.

Ian Hall, chairman of Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association , said: "We need to keep these permanent stickers on. The magnetic stickers can be pinched, they can fall off the vehicle and they damage the door. "

Mr Hall said he has been in the industry for more than three decades.

"We were part of the group that agreed with the council that we needed to get away from these magnetic stickers to have a safety aspect for the customer because the customer is of paramount importance," he said.

Joe Jones, part-owner of Southampton-based company Door2Door, said permanent door signs provide both customers and employers with "extra assurances".He said he would be "reluctant" to employ drivers who use magnetic door signs.

Clive Johnson, chairman or Radio Drivers Association (RDA), acknowledged the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

But he added: "It is a struggle for everybody. I feel very sorry for people struggling but we have got to protect customers. The safety of our customers must come first. "

The city council had previously said it requires the vehicle to display the current operator to help customers in identifying the vehicle they have booked.

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