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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2022 4:44 am 
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Not sure what's going on here, but this makes it look like the objection was on the basis of stuff that might happen or that other offices have done, but with no actual evidence that this new provider might do the stuff that forms the basis of the objections :?


New Glasgow private hire firm gets green light despite taxi objections

https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glas ... m-22896279

The bid to open a new private hire firm had faced a number of objections from Glasgow Taxis, including concerns about over-provision.

A new Glasgow private hire firm has been given the green light to start operating after city councillors approved their three-year booking licence.

Deuce Private Hire Limited will be based at 4 Somerset Place and operate a 24-hour, seven day a week service taking bookings for Glasgow private hire drivers.

The company has been set up by Shabna Ahmed, who will work as the sole director.

She was asked about her experience by members of the city's licensing committee, and said: “I have previous experience in telecoms and IT. I have dealt with a lot of taxi companies in the past.

“I have had experts advise me on the best method and equipment to use, how to handle complaints, find a suitable office and find experienced staff to make sure this business is successful for Glasgow and ourselves.”

Her bid had faced objections from Glasgow Taxis, who argued that they had concerns about over-provision, and over whether the new company would be taking bookings for drivers licensed by other local authorities.

Ben McEntaggart, a spokesman for Glasgow Taxis, said: “There are certain mandatory conditions that apply to this type of licence and those conditions include the need to keep a record of each booking per hire taken at the premises.

“It is unclear how the applicant would comply with this requirement given its operating model.

“The applicant must satisfy the local authority that they have appropriate systems in place and to ensure a satisfactory level of customer service. This would include a complaints procedure and an office for the public to contact or make a complaint. Again it is not clear how the applicant would meet this criteria.

“The third basis of objection is the over provision policy which the licensing authority has in place and the acknowledgement that there is an over provision of these cars in the area.

“We are concerned that licence holders from other local authorities could be part of this booking office and take private hire bookings in contravention of the Civic Government Scotland Act.

“Our final objection is with regard to how the applicant registers themselves which is currently as a taxi operator and clearly there is an important distinction between taxi operators and private hire cars and operators.”

Legal representative for the company Archie MacIver confirmed that the applicant would abide by the rules and regulations surrounding the operation of a booking office.

The building has been subdivided into individual office spaces which the applicant operates out of. There will be a day to day manager running the site.

Mr McIver said: “In terms of the individual objections themselves - this facility will operate under the data master system.

“It is an electronic system which records all the necessary information and logs journeys that are taken, customer details and cars taken. If the journey details are needed, all the information is there.

“The office will be manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The appropriate contact numbers and email addresses are available to anyone booking.

“The objectors refer to the possible misuse of drivers operating from outside the Glasgow area. To be clear the system will only accommodate drivers operating under a Glasgow licence.

“Finally the company is very well aware they are dealing with private hire cars and not taxis, they will not be marketing themselves as taxis.”


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2022 4:45 am 
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Glasgow Taxis representative wrote:
“The third basis of objection is the over provision policy which the licensing authority has in place and the acknowledgement that there is an over provision of these cars in the area."

As regular readers will know, PH plates can be capped in Scotland on the basis of over-provision (as opposed to the no significant unmet demand test for HCs).

But this application is for a booking office licence, not plates, so not really a ground for objection.

In fact the grounds for objection look like they're clutching at straws rather than anything else.

Although perhaps some of the objections are based on the fact it's intended to be a Glasgow version of Uber, but that's not clear either :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2022 9:18 pm 
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Very strange.

Objecting about over provision is strange when office licenses aren't restricted. :-k

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2022 3:29 pm 
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On the other hand, a procedural cock up has scuppered Bolt.

But pretty sure all this huffing and puffing from the HC and PH sectors will turn out to be a waste of time and expensive lawyers' fees, and Bolt will simply reapply and get the licence :?


Ride-hailing app Bolt’s plan to offer private hires in Glasgow suffers setback

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/199 ... w-licence/

Ride-hailing app Bolt’s plan to offer private hires in Glasgow has suffered a setback after its licensing application was ruled “incompetent”.

The UK arm of the Estonian firm, which operates similarly to Uber, had asked the city council for a licence to open a booking office on West Regent Street.

But bosses failed to name a day-to-day manager for the office on a notice which is required to be displayed on the premises prior to a decision by the licensing committee.

Glasgow Taxis and the Greater Glasgow Private Hire Association called for the application to be refused, with representatives of both highlighting the site notice issue.

Bolt, which has secured licences in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, will be able to submit a new application for a Glasgow booking office licence, which will be “considered on its merits”.

The company operates in 45 countries and wanted to offer a 24/7 app-based service in Glasgow, with a booking office staffed from Monday to Friday. It had not recruited a local manager at the time of the application and therefore left the information out of the site notice.

Michael McLean, from law firm Jones Whyte, representing the Greater Glasgow Private Hire Association, said it was “unclear” which “individuals will be managing and responsible for the booking office”.

“It is unclear the extent to which that person can be considered as a fit and proper person.

“The notice was lacking in some respects; it did not provide details of a day to day manager and, in my submission, the notice was defective in terms of the statutory requirements.”

Tom McEntegart, from TLT solicitors, representing Glasgow Taxis, said the absence of information on the day-to-day manager meant the committee could not determine the “fitness and suitability of the applicant”.

Cllr Alex Wilson, who chairs the licensing committee, asked the applicant: “Who was displayed as the day-to-day manager on your site notice?”

Dr Michael Galvin, who had been dealing with Bolt’s licence bid, replied: “It wasn’t displayed on the notice, it was on the application form.”

He added this was because once the firm was licensed it was “going to propose a new day-to-day manager”.

Mairi Millar, the council’s head of licensing, said: “My advice to committee would be that on the basis of the submission made there by Mr Galvin, they have not properly displayed the site notice as is required under the legislation and the application is therefore incompetent.”

Cllr Wilson added: “You are perfectly entitled to come in for another licence application and it will be considered on its merits going forward, but at the moment I cannot take this any further due to the admission from Dr Galvin.”

There had initially been concerns over the location of the site notice, but a council enforcement officer was “satisfied that the notice was on display”.

Hazel Moffat, Bolt’s legal representative, had earlier said Dr Galvin was acting as the nominated point of contact until a local manager was recruited.

She said the firm had appointed Neil Cuthill in December, who will be the operations manager in Glasgow if a licence is secured.

Mr McLean had also argued that app-based companies can’t “perform the same functions that the traditional booking office would as regards public safety”. “It is not accessible in the same way for enforcement or indeed law enforcement. It is not accessible in the same way for members of the public.”

John Cassidy, of Greater Glasgow Private Hire Association, added: “The current situation with the private hire and the hackney trade is bad, and they are not bringing anything to the table.

“They don’t take a booking from their office, our office is open 24 hours a day to the police, the licensing authority.

“These are just opening an office, a shoebox, throwing out an app and taking our business off us. They bring nothing to the table at all.”

Ms Moffat said: “Despite what has been said, Bolt Services UK is licensed already in Edinburgh. “Since 2020, they’ve received licences in 34 local authority areas in England and Wales, again under equivalent licensing systems, all operating the same business models.”

She added the firm would have a manned booking office as well allowing customers to register any concerns via the app, and would provide a contact number for the council’s enforcement team.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2022 3:30 pm 
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Dr Michael Galvin, who had been dealing with Bolt’s licence bid...

Another one who's been round the block a bit in academia and the commercial sector. A quick search on here suggests that in 2016 he was 'head of regulatory affairs' at Addison Lee :-o

Also worked with ComCab, CabCharge and TfL, according to his LinkedIn page.

He's got this, than and the next qualification, and also a magistrate and Royal Warrant Holder (whatever that is :-o ).

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dr-michael-galvin-3407b922


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2022 3:31 pm 
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But all this stuff in Glasgow reminds me of when Uber applied for a licence in Aberdeen, and an MSP who chaired a committee reviewing the legislation was suddenly kicking up a stink about a required notice that had to be displayed as part of an application, but which he only saw fit to highlight a few years later when Uber applied [-(

But, of course, Uber actually got cold feet and never went ahead in Aberdeen, and obviously the pandemic and the Autocab thing has probably completely changed Uber's approach to new starts.

Not so for Bolt, obviously :?

www.taxi-driver.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 2&p=377032


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2022 6:26 pm 
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A lot of huffing and puffing from the status quo.

Which will mean diddly squat when they reaply.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 am 
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StuartW wrote:
But pretty sure all this huffing and puffing from the HC and PH sectors will turn out to be a waste of time and expensive lawyers' fees, and Bolt will simply reapply and get the licence.

Sussex wrote:
A lot of huffing and puffing from the status quo.

Which will mean diddly squat when they reapply.

Indeed :?


Taxi app 'Bolt' set to operate in Glasgow after being given go-ahead from council

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/206 ... d-council/

RIDE-HAILING app Bolt is set to operate in Glasgow after securing a licence from the council despite an objection from private hire drivers.

The city’s licensing committee has granted permission for a booking office on West Regent Street to the UK arm of the Estonian firm, which works in a similar way to Uber.

It comes after an initial application was ruled “incompetent” in February when bosses failed to name a day-to-day manager for the office, on a notice required to be displayed on the premises, prior to a decision by councillors.

Greater Glasgow Private Hire Association once again argued Bolt’s bid was “incompetent” and raised concerns over whether the applicant was “fit and proper”, but the licensing committee decided to back the proposal.

Michael McLean, from law firm Jones Whyte, representing the private hire association, claimed the February application had been refused and therefore Bolt could not reapply within one year.

However, Bolt’s legal representative, Hazel Moffat said the bid was “not determined, it was not fully considered and it was not rejected”.

Mr McLean also said his clients opposed the application due to four concerns over whether the applicant is a fit and proper person.

He said bookings would not be taken in the office but via an app and therefore “may fall outwith the scope of activity that can be licensed by the authority” and there is a “lack of clarity” over who Bolt’s “controlling parties” are.

The private hire association was also concerned about the “storage of private individuals’ data through the app” and whether app-based platforms “pose an increased risk to public safety”.

Mr McLean said: “Drivers who operate such systems often operate multiple platforms, multiple app-based platforms at any time.

“My clients are also concerned that such drivers also tend to work longer driving hours and that may pose a risk to public safety on the basis that drivers may be at increased risk of driver distraction.”

However, Ms Moffat said many private hire firms operate via apps and the booking office would be staffed from 9am to 5pm, five days a week. The company has a 24/7 hotline for passengers and drivers too, she added.

“The applicant is Bolt Services UK Ltd, it is a fully registered autonomous UK company operating under UK law,” Ms Moffat said, adding the firm is owned by an Estonian parent company.

She said the concerns about data protection were “speculative” and Bolt has “full registration with the UK information commissioner in this country, it regularly audits personal data and has a full compliance programme”.

Ms Moffat added there was no specific evidence for the claims about increased risk to public safety. “We see no proper evidence as to why this application should be rejected,” she said.

Cllr Zen Ghani asked Mr McLean to what extent the private hire association’s objection was “motivated by the fact that if Bolt was allowed to operate in the city that would create competition for your clients”.

Mr McLean said: “My instructions are that the objections are all based on firstly the competency ground, which is a matter of law, and secondly as you see by the submission itself, concerns regarding safety.”

Cllr Alex Wilson, who chaired the committee, registered his dissent to the decision to approve the booking office licence. He had said: “You actively encourage people to use a phone while driving, this is a main concern for me with using apps.”

Ms Moffat said drivers would not be using a “handheld device” and the majority of interactions are “at the start and the end of a journey”.

Cllr Wilson also had concerns over “driver fatigue” if they possibly worked for Bolt “for say eight hours, ten hours, then moved on to another app-based company for another eight hours”.

Bolt’s representatives said the firm tries to discourage drivers from working for other app-based systems but “cannot require this absolutely because drivers are allowed to drive for other providers”.

They said Bolt drivers have to display a notice in their car which is “impractical” to swap if working for another firm. Drivers can only drive for Bolt for 12 hours per day before the app switches off and “geofencing” will prevent them from operating outside the boundaries of Glasgow.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:17 am 
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Quote:
Cllr Wilson also had concerns over “driver fatigue” if they possibly worked for Bolt “for say eight hours, ten hours, then moved on to another app-based company for another eight hours”.

As opposed to the same hours with a conventional private hire or HC circuit?

Remember the Glasgow HC circuit driver who was bragging in the press about working 34 hours on Christmas Day? Or something like that :-o


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:53 pm 
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He said bookings would not be taken in the office but via an app and therefore “may fall outwith the scope of activity that can be licensed by the authority” and there is a “lack of clarity” over who Bolt’s “controlling parties” are.

Is that fella really trying to say that app bookings are illegal?

Is there a Glasgow booking firm that doesn't use apps for bookings?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:56 pm 
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Quote:
Drivers can only drive for Bolt for 12 hours per day before the app switches off

Clearly drivers can work for others when Bolt logs them out, but personally I applaud Bolt for operating that way.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:12 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
He said bookings would not be taken in the office but via an app and therefore “may fall outwith the scope of activity that can be licensed by the authority” and there is a “lack of clarity” over who Bolt’s “controlling parties” are.

Is that fella really trying to say that app bookings are illegal?

Is there a Glasgow booking firm that doesn't use apps for bookings?

Yes, noticed that, but was guessing that his fuller/implied argument was that in mainstream firms there's an office open all the time to deal with stuff if it's goes wrong, so the booking is taken by an office even though it's through an app, kind of thing :?

But, of course, anyone who's got the money to pay lawyers to object to applications like this will no doubt get impressive enough sounding arguments at the superficial level, but which don't stand up to closer scrutiny :?


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