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Thursday, May 26, 2022

MP and taxi drivers in agreement over crackdown on rogue taxi drivers

The new taxi Bill that will crackdown on rogue taxi drivers has been welcomed by taxi drivers and a politician in Bradford and Keighley.

Taxi drivers and an MP in Bradford and Keighley are in agreement over a bill being reviewed in the House of Lords.

The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill, if passed, will see a national database created that will track taxi and private hire vehicles (PHV) suspensions, refusals, and revocations.

The Bill will crackdown on rogue taxi drivers who make use of a loophole that means taxi drivers who have been struck off in one area can apply for a badge in a different local authority.

MP for Keighley and Ilkley (Cons) Robbie Moore supports the new Bill.

Currently, cab drivers who are suspended from taxiing in one council can apply for a taxi or a PHV license from another council, as each council cannot access each other’s data under present law.

Each council has different requirements for taxi drivers, with Bradford and Leeds introducing a controversial suitability policy to make sure drivers stick to strict guidelines or risk losing their license, but a driver’s suspension or revocation isn’t shared with the new council that they are applying to.

Under this Bill, licencing teams would be required to consult with other licensing authorities before making licence decisions about a driver.

Conservative MP for Keighley and Ilkley Robbie Moore has publicly supported this bill. He said: “I am fully supportive of the new Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill. This is a new piece of legislation that contains essential safeguarding measures to protect people from the minority of taxi drivers who do not do the right thing.

“I welcome that the Bill will introduce a mandatory database of taxi and private hire vehicle driving licence suspensions and revocations for all licensing authorities in England; closing a loophole whereby a driver can lose a license in one authority before getting a new one in another.

Director of Baildon taxis and head of Baildon Taxis Asif Shah.

“It will also put a duty on licensing authorities in England to report safeguarding and road safety concerns about drivers licensed by other authorities, and for those authorities to have a duty to take account of those concerns.

“We have so many fantastic taxi drivers across Keighley and Ilkley who provide an important service to local people. By improving the licensing rules for taxis and private hire vehicles, we can ensure that the standards are raised for all taxi drivers.

“Meanwhile, my constituents can have more peace of mind knowing that those unfit to be behind the wheel of a taxi will not be able to do so.”

The Director of Baildon Taxis and chair of Bradford Taxi Action Group, Asif Shah, also supports the bill, saying that it is a “positive step for increased public safety and the reputation of drivers.”

The taxi driver said: “I think it is a good thing. We welcome having a database in place to make sure that licensing departments know if a driver has been revoked in a different city. We are a professional trade and want to maintain a professional standard.

“If a driver has been revoked in one area, then it is cause for concern. In the interest of public safety and our reputation as drivers then it is a positive step.

“If an offence has been committed and someone’s license has been suspended or revoked then clearly there is a reason for it, and it needs to be known by any other licensing authority. For example, you don’t want somebody who has done something wrong in Bradford to go get a badge in Leeds, without them knowing and putting other people at risk.”

Do you agree with this Bill? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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