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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2024 10:01 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Callum Taxi wrote:
If they can do it, so can I, and that's why I do so. It's obviously legal if Wolverhampton (with over 50,000+ registered vehicles) are allowed to carry out work for Uber in areas where there's no ops license for either Wolves or that district in question.

In fact there should be - and almost certainly will be - a Wolverhampton opertator's licence in place if there's a Wolverhampton-plated car and Wolverhampton-badged driver working anywhere.

It's what the legal eagles and licensing people call the 'triple-lock' - all three licences have to be issued by the same council, but then they have the 'right to roam' anywhere.

On the other hand, the Wolverhampton operator's licence is very often just a pen and paper exercise - or a 'ghost' office, I've seen them described - and not what you'd normally regard as an operator. And, of course, Uber largely operates in some sort of abstract digital environment rather than an old-style bricks and mortar office environment.

But, in this day and age, pretty sure it all complies with the law. Or, at least, no-one's ever managed to demonstrate otherwise.


I understand where you're coming from, however it still goes in question with what Wardy has brought up about the 1976 Act on vehicles (Ubers) sitting outside (Manchester i.e.) of their district (Wolverhampton) and waiting for a new job to ping on their app.

The recent debate from Chris Webb in parliament seems to be a recent cry for these 'unlicensed' and 'uninsured' Ubers - god knows where he got that term from - as well as the former crime commissioner agreeing that these vehicles should be stopped and removed?


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2024 10:27 pm 
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Two points, Callum.

First, Wardy's gone very quiet 8-[

Second, I suspect people have been spinning Chris Webb MP a line, and he's swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

No point going through it all with a fine tooth comb on here for the three millionth time, but noticed this wee gem in one of the press reports:

BBC News wrote:
Drivers who are not in vehicles licensed in Blackpool can only drop off from their original place where they have a license and cannot pick up in the town.

Not clear from the piece whether it's talking about HCs, or PHVs, or both. But, either way, it's complete nonsense, as anyone with an iota of trade knowledge will know :-o

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-l ... e-69026377


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2024 11:00 pm 
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And, anyway, there have been plenty lawyers, licensing officers and other people with big money who have looked into all of this over many years (even well before Uber), and nothing's ever changed, and no legal route has ever been found to stop it all.

The 'triple-lock' and 'right to roam' are what the lawyers call 'settled law'. Simples.

(And 'settled law' has nothing to do with 'settle' in the trade :lol: )


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2024 11:14 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Two points, Callum.

First, Wardy's gone very quiet 8-[

Second, I suspect people have been spinning Chris Webb MP a line, and he's swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

No point going through it all with a fine tooth comb on here for the three millionth time, but noticed this wee gem in one of the press reports:

BBC News wrote:
Drivers who are not in vehicles licensed in Blackpool can only drop off from their original place where they have a license and cannot pick up in the town.

Not clear from the piece whether it's talking about HCs, or PHVs, or both. But, either way, it's complete nonsense, as anyone with an iota of trade knowledge will know :-o

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-l ... e-69026377


I suspected that. Definitely the typical politician not done his homework and is most likely quoting the 'TAXI/HACKNEY' rules rather than PHV.

Have you also noticed that the popular councils where PH applicants go for; Wolverhampton, Sefton, Knowlesley...are all primarily Labour ran? So is Chris Webb campaigning against his own party?

Thanks for your input Stuart though, appreciate it.

I suppose it would make sense to just scrap the 1976 Dinosaur Act, however I reckon the next framework review won't be until those robotaxis start becoming mainstream.


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2024 12:41 am 
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CallumTaxi wrote:
I suspected that. Definitely the typical politician not done his homework and is most likely quoting the 'TAXI/HACKNEY' rules rather than PHV.

Yes, the statement does read a bit like rules for hackney carriage kind of stuff, but even then it's largely mumbo jumbo, because nothing to stop an HC picking up out-of-area if it's pre-booked :-o

So the statement could be correct if it's about HCs doing public hire, but it's not nearly clear enough for that. And since it's in the context of Uber and pre-booking stuff, it's effectively meaningless.


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2024 12:41 am 
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And interesting you should mention the likes of Sefton in relation to cross-border licensing, since of course Delta in Bootle used Sefton-plated cars to operate all over Merseyside years before the likes of Uber arrived on the scene.

And that's long before the Deregulation Act 2015 as well. I think the only difference with the 2015 Act is that Delta can now also use Wolverhampton-plated cars (say) in Merseyside now as well. Although they'd also need a Wolverhampton operator's licences as well as their Sefton operator's licence :?

Of course, prior to 2015 there was nothing to stop Delta having both Wolverhampton and Sefton operator's licences. But prior to 2015 they couldn't routinely pass work between cars working under the two different licences.


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2024 9:20 pm 
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(Was doing this on the rank last night, and intended rechecking the figures - can't be bothered now, but sure they're in the right ball park anyway.)


Was looking at the latest DfT stats, and Wolverhampton PH operator licences totalled 297 on 1 April 2023 :-o

If you look at discrete cities with a similar population (ignoring the likes of the Greater Manc authorities, which are part of a bigger metropolitan area, which might distort the figures, and also ignoring Plymouth, which has its own legislation, thus there may be differences which might influence the numbers), the operator licence numbers are as follows:

Hull - 112
Rotherham - 72
Derby - 160
Stoke - 131
Southampton - 66

Actually quite surprised some of those numbers are so high, but obviously Wolverhampton with almost 300 dwarfs the lot. Which, obviously, is because of the operator licences required to support cross-border working. A Blackpool operator, say, gets an operator's licence in Wolverhampton, and can then used Wolverhampton-plated cars :-o

And if you look at some towns and cities with even bigger populations than that lot, the number of operators licences is well below even most of those above:

B&H - 55
Sunderland - 21
Milton Keynes - 108

So the numbers are pretty inconsistent for towns and cities with broadly similar population to Wolverhampton (all the above c.250,000 to 290,000 people). But, again, Wolves way above any of them...

And maybe the best comparator is Coventry, which has c.350,000 people compared to c.270,000 people in Wolves, in they're both in the same part of the country. Coventry only has 32 operators licences :shock:

And the c.300 Wolves operator licenses was when they had about 22,000 PHVs. I'd guess that's around 30,000 now, looking around at the figures, so wouldn't be surprised if Wolves had 400 operator licences now :-o

Another interesting thing I noticed when looking at the old stats is that there were 22,345 PHVs, but 30,463 PH badges. So that's 1.36 PHDs per PHV. Which I think is quite a high ratio by PHV standards :?

Anyway, for what it's worth I took the population figures from this Wiki page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_E ... population


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 10:52 am 
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My old area, formerly Shepway, now folkestone & Hythe had about 250 HC cars, not sure how many ops licences, and 42 PH cars with 36 PH ops licences. The HCs tended to work the 2 main towns, PH the rural Romney Marsh area. It would have been useful for the Shepway to have the right to pick up in Ashford. Every trip there was a dead run one way or the other. Luckily no poober here yet.


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 1:29 pm 
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And if we're talking the number of Wolves PHVs...it's well above the 50,000th mark. You can't blame operators going for the cheaper and 'quickest' option (at the time...). Looking at Wolves' backlog of applications, I admit I was looking at getting one myself but it's nearly 2mths worth of waiting. Plus with all these random training companies popping up stealing the training courses so new drivers are pretty much forced to pay these 'middle men' to get through fast.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 12:09 am 
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Where does the 50,000 Wolves PHVs figure come from, Callum?

The DfT stats from 14 months ago show 22,365 PHV plates. No doubt they'll have increased substantially from then, but 50,000 seems a bit of a stretch, and inconsistent with any figures I've seen :?


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 12:20 am 
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This recent BBC article is based on stats apparently obtained by TaxiPoint. And, as per usual with stuff like this, it gives the impression that the main figures cited are licenses issued during the period, which is not the same as extant licences [-(

And it kicks off with this:

BBC News wrote:
Wolverhampton has registered about a third of England's taxi drivers and is inundated with applications, according to a report.

Leaving aside the generic use of the t-word (and to be fair, the article does split the numbers using the terms HC and PH), it uses the word drivers (badges) rather than vehicles (plates). Which as we all know on here, can be very different (and 50,000 badges rather than plates certainly seems a tad more plausible).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-b ... m-64202545


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 2:57 am 
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Don't know how accurate they are, but I counted the following figures on the Wolves Council online licensing register.

PHD badges - 44,272
PHV plates - 30,071
PH operators - 423

Which sounds more like the right ball park.

Not clear whether the figures above might include HCs and dual badges, but since the numbers are less than a couple of hundred then even if the above include the HC stuff they won't be materially incorrect in the grand scheme of things. And I'm not counting them all again anyway - taken me a whole fortnight :-o


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 2:59 am 
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...only joking, obviously - click on link below, and if you select the Driver/Vehicle/Operator options at the top, then at the bottom click on View All Drivers/Vehicles/Operators.

Then you'll get the first page of a list of licences, and go to the bottom and you'll get a figure for the total entries :idea:

So assuming it's reasonably up to date, then the figures above should be there or thereabouts. Except for the caveat about the HC thing, but I suspect the registers are just PH licences, and the HC figures wouldn't make that much difference anyway :?

https://iapply.co.uk/wdp/user/public-register-search


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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2024 8:47 pm 
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I suppose within that 50,000th vehicle there have been suspensions and those giving up plates and Wolves don't reuse that number again, just carry on from whatever the latest number is they've given out? I went off the 50,000 mark as I've seen the odd Wolves plated vehicle in that number range.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 2:11 am 
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Gotcha, Callum - some councils seem to use old numbers once they've been surrendered, and obviously there will be a smaller number of revocations.

Other councils seem to just continue issuing plates in a numerical series, so over the years the higher numbers will misrepresent the number of extant licences. I'd guess Wolverhampton is one of the latter if there are plate numbers into the 50,000s knocking around. And that the number on the online database is more representative of current numbers.

And 30,000 or so current plates certainly looks consistent with the kind of official numbers that have been mentioned following FOI requests, or whatever :?

Don't know how up-to-date the numbers in the online register are, but they certainly seem to be changing from day-to-day. And plates have gone up by about 160 since I looked a few days ago :-o


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