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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 12:36 pm 
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This kind of stuff is a bit predictable. Very intelligent people, who know about economic theory and the like, but have limited knowledge of the trade.

Would take hours and hours to go through all this but, most obviously, the author as per usual seems to think 'ride-hailing' operators aren't effectively the same as PHVs, and plated appropriately :-o

And, I mean, what's Jim Button's 'encyclopaedia of the UK’s current taxi regulations' which is apparently 3,000 pages long? :shock:


Put the UK’s Taxi Laws in for an MOT and the Consumer Back in the Driving Seat

https://www.adamsmith.org/news/put-the- ... iving-seat

Abolish the Knowledge, support Paratransit Light Vehicles and remove barriers for market entrants to get the UK moving, says think tank

    The UK’s licensure regime is inherently exclusionary due to its expensive and overly complicated nature.

    Current TFL guidance for the licensure of taxis is 105 pages long, whilst James Button’s encyclopaedia of the UK’s current taxi regulations comes to almost 3000 pages.

    The cost of a taxi licence in London can exceed £10,000 after the ‘Knowledge’ test is taken into account.

    Data from End Violence Against Women shows that 1 in 2 women feel unsafe walking near their home at night, and 1 in 2 women feel unsafe walking in a public area at night. Improving access to cheap and safe late-night transport would help to address these concerns.

A new report, A Fare Shake: Reforming Taxis for the 21st Century, from the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) argues that the Government should move to overhaul current taxi cab legislation, creating a more dynamic and equitable sector to better serve the needs of Britons as they get moving after Covid. Drivers and operators should have a clearer, more liberal licensing system, giving users unprecedented choice at lower costs, better safety, and higher quality.

Report author, Maxwell Marlow, makes the economic case for streamlining licensure rules. Taxis, PHVs (Private Hire Vehicles) and ride-source suppliers are critical to rebuilding the economy after the pandemic. Personnel Today has found that 40% of people want to use PHVs for their work commute, whilst the hospitality and night-time sectors will benefit from greater consumption of goods and services consumed either side of the rides. Moreover, in London, only 46% of households own a car meaning that, especially for lower income groups who are less likely to own one, travel is increasingly reliant on third-parties. Freedom of travel should be protected for lower-income households, who are at the mercy of restrictive transport regulation and declining TfL services.

The paper also highlights the need to end the preferential treatment of taxis, which is currently taking place at the expense of PHVs and ride-source providers. PHVs provide a great deal of societal inclusivity for disabled people, who are often excluded from public transport and conventional vehicles, whilst ride-sourcing platforms are the most popular mode of hired transport services, offering rapid and reliable transport across urban areas.

The report recommends the following policies:

    1 Eliminate wasteful duplication and regressive licensing by creating a single, standard licensing regime, enforced by a national licencing authority.

    2 Abolish the ‘Knowledge’ advanced topographical tests, which have become unnecessary due to the advent of reliable GPS and digital maps.

    3 Permit PHVs to be hailed from the pavement and allow all licenced point-to-point operators to use bus lanes in order to make transport fairer.

    4 Support more Paratransit Light Vehicles. These are higher capacity vehicles which run regular services along high-demand routes and which can be summoned by a customer.

    5 Allow drivers nationwide to claim the cost of passenger-facing CCTV back against tax and encourage the use of online safety kits to improve standards of safety.

    6 Offer incentives for taxi and PHV drivers to switch to green vehicles through offering discounts on green vehicles, and raising capital through a Green Taxis and PHVs Fund to subsidise faster transition away from combustion engines.


Maxwell Marlow, report author and Development and Research Officer at the Adam Smith Institute said:

“Britain operates critical services on last millennium’s laws. It’s time to put the brakes on special interests, who inflate costs and gate-keep with the antiquated and defunct ‘Knowledge’, and give consumers more choice. We need to simplify our licensing system, making it more fair and transparent, whilst ensuring that our fleets are greener, safer, and more efficient than before. The report contains a myriad of policies to give Britons the freedom to travel that they deserve, turbocharge the economy and relieve the cost-of-living crisis for many along the way.”

Greg Smith, Member of Parliament for Buckingham and Transport Select Committee Member, said:

“Reform of the taxi and PHV market is long overdue. The revolution in consumer choice that services like Uber brought needs to be matched with the way the State sees taxi services, and I welcome the ASI’s recommendations in this regard. We need to embrace deregulation for better and cheaper choices for all.”


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 12:37 pm 
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In case anyone didn't notice the link to the report in the blue text above, this is the link here:

https://www.adamsmith.org/s/A-Fare-Shake-Version-2.pdf

Can only find one article about this in the press - The Sun :-o


Can't be bothered putting it on here, but it's got the eminently predictable response from the LTDA about abolishing the Knowledge of London etc. But it's here if anyone wants to read it:


IT'S ALL UBER Black cab drivers face battle for existence amid calls to scrap world-famous Knowledge taxi test

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18464506/ ... knowledge/

BLACK cabs may be at the end of the road — as the Knowledge faces calls to be axed.

An influential think tank says drivers for ride-hailing apps including Uber should have the same privileges as black cabbies.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 12:40 pm 
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Haven't read the full report, but here's a few dodgy sounding paragraphs that caught my eye:

Adam Smith Institute wrote:
Ride sourced vehicles (or ride-sharing), such as those hailed by Uber, Bolt,
Ola, Lyft, or Gett are non-specialist cars which can neither use taxi ranks
nor be hailed from the street. These do not fall under the best practice guid-
ance, though it is important to consider their role in the transport market.

Apart from the confusing jumble of terminology in the report, in what way do these not fall under the 'best practice guidance? :-s

I'm assuming he means the DfT's guidance, but although it sounds like it's already been mentioned earlier in the paper, I can't see it mentioned at all, correct me if I'm wrong [-(

Adam Smith Institute wrote:
In Liverpool, certain taxi licence holders cannot operate in areas where
they are not licenced, despite customers often requesting to travel across
boundaries.4 This is replicated in various areas of the country, and increas-
es costs for operators.

This makes it sound like Liverpool is a special case and has its own licensing regime, but how can it? :-k

Adam Smith Institute wrote:
Across the UK, from July 2022, passenger-facing CCTV will be mandated for taxis, PHVs, and ride-source operators.

Eh? First I've heard :roll:

Adam Smith Institute wrote:
Since 2013, Southampton’s licensing authority has registered authorised CCTV cameras in an easy-to-access document, and allows drivers to claim the cost of the cameras back against tax.

What on earth do Southampton City Council's policies have to do with whether or not the cost of CCTV is recoverable against tax? That's up to HMRC, surely? And why shouldn't the cost of CCTV be claimable for tax purposes, which the author implies isn't normally the case? ](*,)

(On a pedantic note, as is often the case the author makes it sound like CCTV in Southampton won't cost the drivers anything because it's reclaimable, but of course the cost will simply reduce taxable profits, and drivers will bear most of the cost of the CCTV.)


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 12:46 pm 
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The report references a link to James Button's book on the Amazon website, which indeed says it's nearly 3,000 pages long :-o

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Button-Taxis-L ... B0788HLZ5F

But on Amazon the hardback version of the book is £109.57 and even the Kindle edition is £104.09 :-o

Don't think I'll be buying [-(


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 8:14 pm 
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Quote:
2 Abolish the ‘Knowledge’ advanced topographical tests, which have become unnecessary due to the advent of reliable GPS and digital maps.

Does my nut when this rubbish is repeated. ](*,)

How long would this take at the ranks, especially late at night when most punters struggle to stand up let alone give a clear and coherent address.

But the most repeated rubbish is that PH drivers shouldn't need a knowledge test as it's all done via Sat Navs, via the data head.

But that relies on the customer getting it right, or the minimum wage member of staff getting it right, the customer not changing their minds, or the customer not wanting to go on to a further address.

It also wipes out the auto book facility that most firms now use, often accounting for 60-80% of their booked jobs.

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 8:16 pm 
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3 Permit PHVs to be hailed from the pavement and allow all licenced point-to-point operators to use bus lanes in order to make transport fairer.

Just end hackney number restrictions.

Always been a fan of an open to all one-tier system.

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 10:19 pm 
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Get fed up of private hire drivers asking where a place is.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 10:25 pm 
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I can fully agree with the one licencing regime for the whole country, maybe London excepted, as there's too much of the "the next town's cabs are not as safe as ours" being put out by most licencing authorities.

There was mention of this on James O'Brien on LBC this morning where he was very much in favour of keeping the KoL and black cabs. I gather he's not a fan of Uber. Some have the view is it's provided by riff-raff for riff-raff.

Note everything in the report is providing the lowest cost option for everybody, more slave labour in the PH industry working for nothing. I think we all agree that the taxi/ph laws need an urgent overhaul despite having been promised for years but the guys and girls driving the things deserve a decent wage for what they do. And that's not going to happen by the further race to the bottom. I'm glad to have got out of the business when I did!

Edited to add the usual bow locks about disabled being denied access to public transport. All service buses are now fully accessible for people with all sorts of disabilities including wheelchair users.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 11:20 pm 
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They are kind of on the right track but their suggestions won't do a great deal to change the industry in the ways they think they will.

Firstly, eliminating PH and Hackney and having a one size fits all type of taxi/cab service is a good idea.

It would have to be backed up by allowing drivers to use whatever vehicle they choose to do so. Traditional black cab or hybrid saloon etc.

Will be simpler for insurance companies too. A one size fits all policy as opposed to tailoring it to a specific hire and reward or private hire etc.

Eliminating all this cross border nonsense and separate licensing departments will also help too. A flat rate national price to pay for the vehicle license and taxi license all run by a central department or a few departments around the country will simplify the industry. ALLOW ALL DRIVERS TO CHARGE WHATEVER THEY WANT. NO PRICE REGULATION.

Insurance companies should not be allowed to ask where you intend to work and instead it should just have "national" on the policy. They could potentially be permitted to offer a cheaper policy to drivers who agree to work within a certain area and agree to not work beyond a certain district etc. There are obviously high risk areas and low risk areas so this could be assessed by the insurance companies on the driver's home post code but this method will obviously have winners and losers just like there are currently in the present working business model.

Secondly, eliminating the knowledge test is also another good suggestion that can remove another barrier to entry and get more drivers into the industry.

However, these measures only scratch the surface of what is required to overhaul the industry.

Council policies such as "clean air zones" and "congestion charges" need to be removed. Age restrictions on vehicles also need to be abolished. Customers are not demanding new "green vehicles". Maybe a small percentage but not many. What they all want is a cheap, efficient and reliable professional service. There will be still a market in some places for taxi companies to have "green fleets" and as a consequence charge their customers a higher price to reflect the extra cost of having a "green fleet" which allows the remainder with older vehicles to carry on their service at lower prices. Everyone is happy.

Make it cheaper for drivers to operate their business and the consumer gets a cheaper and more efficient service. The cheaper the service the more demand the consumer will have requiring more drivers that as a consequence will be able to provide a more efficient service as a result of more cars and drivers on the road.

I could go on but you get the drift.

The more barriers to entry the less cars on the road. It's not some difficult enigma. Just basic economic thinking required.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 6:28 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:

But the most repeated rubbish is that PH drivers shouldn't need a knowledge test as it's all done via Sat Navs, via the data head.

But that relies on the customer getting it right, or the minimum wage member of staff getting it right, the customer not changing their minds, or the customer not wanting to go on to a further address.

It also wipes out the auto book facility that most firms now use, often accounting for 60-80% of their booked jobs.
With respect, as all jobs for a private hire must be booked through the operator then it should not be permissible for the customer to "change their mind without going back to the operator. It certainly isn't allowed in our company because we work on fixed fares and the office would need to modify the price and enter the correct details as required by licensing.

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 6:05 pm 
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I hope if they allow p/h to ply for hire they insist they must use 60k vehicles too for that privelege

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 4:48 pm 
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not being funny but the Adam Smith institute has always had a biased view of all trades they think a completely free market is the answer to everything but they fail to appreciate that driving British tax paying businesses out of the market in favour of American, French, German or Chinese businesses without the same opportunity available to British businesses in their home markets which are far less free market than hours is license to bankrupt the country

Black cabs pay tax and are often far more customer focused than the non tax paying Uber and their ilk

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 6:58 pm 
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Adam Smith Institute wrote:
Across the UK, from July 2022, passenger-facing CCTV will be mandated for taxis, PHVs, and ride-source operators.

So for those down south who pay attention to these things, is there anything at all in this? If it is "across the UK", I've certainly never heard a peep about it north of the border.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 8:37 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Adam Smith Institute wrote:
Across the UK, from July 2022, passenger-facing CCTV will be mandated for taxis, PHVs, and ride-source operators.

So for those down south who pay attention to these things, is there anything at all in this? If it is "across the UK", I've certainly never heard a peep about it north of the border.

Loads of old fanny.

DfT has issued guidance saying councils should consider mandatory CCTV, but it's a matter for them to decide on.

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