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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:47 pm 
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We welcome the Government’s climbdown on their disastrous proposal to deregulate taxis, which would have put women's safety at risk

Mary Creagh, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to the news that the Government have abandoned Clause 10 of the Deregulation Bill, said:

“We welcome the Government’s climbdown on their disastrous proposal to deregulate taxis, which would have put women's safety at risk. However, Ministers are still pressing ahead with their risky plans to loosen taxi licensing and allowing cabs to work out of area, which Labour, alongside safety charities, has opposed.

“Ministers need urgently to review these final two measures and we repeat our offer to work with them to get the rogues off the road.”

Ends

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. On 14 October DfT dropped Clause 10 from the Deregulation Bill

Clause 10 would have enabled people who don’t hold a private hire vehicle license to drive one when it is “off duty”. Safety campaigners and local government had warned this reform has the potential to increase the number of unlicensed drivers pretending to be legitimate.

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/201 ... ation.html



2. The Government failed to publish an Impact Assessment until 8 months after the reforms were proposed

The taxi and minicab reforms were added to the Deregulation Bill in March 2014. But the Government didn’t publish an impact assessment on their rushed and risky reforms until Labour asked for one on the 1 October 2014. It confirmed that the reform ‘could lead to an increase in illegal use of licensed vehicles.’

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/id/ukia/2014/295



3. Campaigners, Police and Crime Commissioners, Local Government and the trade joined Labour in opposing the reforms

Organisations including the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the Survivors Trust, the Local Government Association, 17 cross-party police and crime commissioners and various industry bodies had opposed the reforms. Labour voted against the clauses in the Deregulation Bill at Report Stage in the Commons and will continue to oppose them in the House of Lords.



4. Remaining Taxi and Minicab Clauses of the Bill

Clause 11 of the Deregulation Bill will end annual license renewal for minicab drivers, which helps licensing authorities recognise changes to a drivers’ convictions or medical status. Clause 12 will enable minicab operators to subcontract a booking to another operator, licensed in a different area. Local licensing officers don’t currently have the powers to enforce safety in respect of vehicles in other areas.



5. Conclusions from Rotherham Report on Taxis and Minicabs

The Inquiry concluded that “one of the common threats running through child sexual exploitation across England has been the prominent role of taxi drivers in being linked to children who were abused.” The Inquiry found that young women in Rotherham immediately and consistently avoided taxis as a form of transport because of safety fears, and issued a clear warning about the poor enforcement powers of local licensing officers. The author of the Independent Inquiry into Rotherham, Alexis Jay OBE, has warned against attempt to water down taxi and minicab reforms.

http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/downloads/f ... _rotherham


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:52 pm 
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Government scraps plans to relax taxi licensing rules

LGA press release 15 October 2014

Commenting on the Government's withdrawal of plans to relax taxi licensing rules within the Deregulation Bill, Cllr Ann Lucas OBE, Chair of the Local Government Association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

"We are delighted that after concerted LGA lobbying, the Government has listened to our concerns and withdrawn plans to relax rules about who can drive licensed minicabs. Councils – alongside children's charities, personal safety organisations and taxi drivers themselves – have long-warned that this unwanted change would increase the public safety risk to people using minicabs.

"When people get into a taxi, they put their trust in the fact that the person driving the car has been vetted and licensed and that it is safe to be in a vehicle with them, especially if they are travelling alone. Anyone getting into a minicab should be assured that the only person allowed to drive the car has had their background checked, and it is right that Government has now agreed to let councils maintain this protection.

"Government should also now delete the two remaining taxi clauses in the Deregulation Bill, which would increase the length of driver licences and enable minicab firms to sub-contract bookings to other firms from different areas, without any requirement to tell the person making a booking.

"Our own opinion polling shows 80 per cent of women would be concerned if they booked a journey with one firm and a different one turned up.

"Councils support comprehensive reform of taxi licensing but on the basis of the whole of the recent Law Commission report and not through this unwise piecemeal approach that could have a negative impact on public safety."

Notes to editors

The poll found:

Seventy-three per cent of people polled would be very or fairly concerned if they booked a minicab from one firm and a minicab from another firm turned up – including 80 per cent of women.

Eighty-five per cent of those polled said they were fairly or very concerned about the plans – including 91 per cent of women.

1. Telephone Omnibus – Populus Data Solutions
(Minicab survey data (PDF, 5 pages, 61KB)) • A representative telephone survey of 741 English adults aged 18+, living outside of London, was conducted. London residents were excluded since the proposed new taxi licensing rules already apply in London.

• The survey took place 10-12 October 2014.

• 50 per cent of the sample was contacted via landline and 50 per cent via mobile to ensure that the correct proportion of mobile only households is achieved.

• Sample methodology: RDD (Random Digit Dialling).

• Quotas are set on age, gender and region and the data weighted to the known GB profile of age, gender, region, social grade, taken a foreign holiday in the last three years, tenure, number of cars in the household, working status, and mobile only household.

2. The Government has dropped Clause 10 from the Deregulation Bill which would have allowed anyone to drive a licensed minicab when off duty. This follows extensive LGA lobbying supported by the NSPCC, Barnardo's, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Victim's Support, Age UK and the GMB Taxi Union.

3. Further taxi and minicab clauses remaining within the Bill will end annual license renewal for minicab drivers and enable minicab operators to subcontract a booking to another operator, licensed in a different area. The Bill returns to the House of Lords Committee Stage on Tuesday 21 October.

- See more at: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media ... vRirp.dpuf

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:20 pm 
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mancityfan wrote:
alongside safety charities, has opposed.

Do charities really oppose cross border? Do they really give a flying f*** about three yearly licenses?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:59 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Do charities really oppose cross border? Do they really give a flying f*** about three yearly licenses?


Apparently this one does.....

http://www.londonblacktaxis.net/blog/pu ... regulation

Perhaps others do as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Considering the main issue is sub contracting - do those organisations with political connections really think its wise to crow about government climb-downs?

I am dealing with f*cking idiots here.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:32 pm 
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captain cab wrote:
Considering the main issue is sub contracting - do those organisations with political connections really think its wise to crow about government climb-downs?

I am dealing with f*cking idiots here.

Strange because I was of the opinion from reading various posts on here that the main issue was unlicensed drivers driving licensed vehicles.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:03 pm 
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The one that has been binned was the worst.

Cross border is next worst, sub-contracting within the area is already allowed.

The one that I personally could live with is the 3 year Driver licence, but even that should be changed to make LA's have to offer it as an option unless they can show good reason on a case by case basis to limit an applicant, or applicant for renewal, to one year. Production of documents should be catered for within the 3 years to twice - meaning that if they wish, LA's can check the position of a Driver annually or can act on information received. A little like the maximum 3 checks annually on vehicles (or 4 maximum in Plymouth).

I think the Government have dropped Clause 10 as a Sop to the Members of the House of Lords, of all Parties including Lib Dem and Tory, to get the other 2 through. I firmly believe now that they will still fall in the upper house.

It has given a trial run on a few small parts of the Law Commission proposed Bill, the same items will now probably be removed from that during it's transition through Parliament and for the same reasons.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Be in no doubt the majority of folks from the trade fighting the Dereg bill are only really interested in the cross border issue.

They, despite what they say, couldn't give a flying f*** about safety, they are worried about the really big boys taking over.

Uber and the other app people will have the door opened for them everywhere.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:56 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Be in no doubt the majority of folks from the trade fighting the Dereg bill are only really interested in the cross border issue.

They, despite what they say, couldn't give a flying f*** about safety, they are worried about the really big boys taking over.

Uber and the other app people will have the door opened for them everywhere.


Cross border hiring would make my life a whole lot easier but I still don't think it's safe, on the other hand I agree with you in that the big boys don't care

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:31 pm 
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captain cab wrote:
2. The Government has dropped Clause 10 from the Deregulation Bill which would have allowed anyone to drive a licensed minicab when off duty. This follows extensive LGA lobbying supported by the NSPCC, Barnardo's, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Victim's Support, Age UK and the GMB Taxi Union.

I'm quite happy to, once again, point out the utter hypocrisy of the GMB.

This is what they said to The Law Commission is their submission.

Law Commission Provisional proposal 20:
Leisure and non-professional use of taxis and private hire vehicles should be permitted. There would however be a presumption that the vehicle is being used for professional purposes at any time unless the contrary can be proved.

GMB Union Answer: 20
Agreed. Restricting eligibility of only licensed drivers being allowed to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle is not required. There are many reasons adopt the Metropolitan view including the use of such vehicles being driven by mechanics and such like.


The Captain is correct, he is dealing with idiots, mercifully I am not. \:D/

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:19 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Strange because I was of the opinion from reading various posts on here that the main issue was unlicensed drivers driving licensed vehicles.


TBH if the sub contracting goes through as is - you can merely license yourself in your next door authority and let your unlicensed Mrs drive - the dereg bill wont allow your current LA to check your vehicle.

IMO its all par of a wider game - namely making the LC recommendations acceptable......folk are sleepwalking towards an abyss

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:32 am 
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captain cab wrote:
IMO its all par of a wider game - namely making the LC recommendations acceptable......folk are sleepwalking towards an abyss

Not sleep walking, sprinting.

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