On Thursday 15th September I asked the Transport Secretary if he believed that current legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles is adequate for the 21st Century given technological advancements in how we use private hire vehicle services.
The main legal framework governing taxi services has not undergone any significant reform for nearly 200 years. Private hire services legislation is more recent, dating from 1976 in most of England and Wales and 1998 in London.
There are no national standards, resulting in a very variable national picture. The piecemeal evolution of the regulation of taxi and private hire services has resulted in a complex and fragmented licensing system; the relationship between taxi and private hire services is not clearly defined. Mobile phones and the internet have revolutionised both the taxi and private hire trades, yet regulation has failed to keep pace. Sadly the Minister failed to really answer my question.
You can read the exchange below:
Jo Stevens MP:
I thank the Minister for his reply. Internet and smartphone use has revolutionised private hire vehicle services. Does he believe that current legislation, which is now several decades old, is adequately regulating this technology?
Andrew Jones MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Transport:
The legislation that governs this sector goes back many, many more decades, to the age of the horse and carriage. That is why the Government asked the Law Commission to take a comprehensive review of taxi and private hire regulation in England and Wales. Obviously, it is a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We will be responding to the Law Commission’s report in due course.
You can watch the exchange below: