The Cabinet Office has received representations on behalf of Trafford, Oldham and Kirklees councils in relation to provisions in the Deregulation Bill on taxis and private hire vehicles. The Department for Transport, which has policy responsibility for taxi and private hire vehicles, has also received representations on behalf of St Helens and South Ribble councils, and from the Local Government Association.
These representations raised issues relating to safety and to the Law Commission report on taxis and private hire vehicle licensing which the Government is currently considering.
The Government will withdraw clause 10, which would have allowed anyone with an ordinary driving licence to drive a private hire vehicle when it is ‘off-duty’, from the Bill when clauses 10-12 are debated at Lords Committee Stage on 21 October.
The remaining clauses in the Deregulation Bill are:
· clause 11 which will standardise the duration for all taxi and private hire vehicle driver licences at three years; and five years for all private hire vehicle operator licences. Shorter durations will only be granted on a case by case basis, where it is justifiable for a particular reason. This will reduce the financial and administrative burden of more frequent licence renewals; and
· clause 12 which will allow private hire operators to sub-contract bookings to operators licensed in a different district.