TfL have always claimed they have no jurisdiction over their licensed vehicles working in other areas….but that’s not true and now we’ve just been told it’s not true by the The Petitions team, UK Government and Parliament.
Licensing authorities remain responsible for ensuring that the drivers they license remain fit and proper throughout the period of the licence. Any complaints about a driver can be investigated by the authority responsible for issuing the licence, regardless of where the driver was working at the time.
If vehicles from neighbouring areas present a problem, licensing authorities can work together to take joint enforcement action against all vehicles and drivers licensed in their combined areas. For example, in Merseyside, five licensing authorities allow each other to enforce against all vehicles and drivers across all of their areas.
Legislation allows taxis to provide pre-booked journeys outside the area in which they are licensed, without a separate PHV licence. The Government considers that it is in the public interest to encourage taxis to accept fares that may take them out of the area in which they are licensed, for example to airports or train stations.
This concession has, in the past been open to abuse, with taxi drivers working predominantly accepting pre-booked fares outside the area in which they were licensed. The courts, while careful not to direct how a licensing authority should exercise its discretion to grant licences, have commented that it would be “difficult” to justify granting a taxi licence where a licensing authority knows the applicant has no intention of plying for hire in its area. It is the local licensing authority’s discretion as to whether or not to license such a vehicle, however to remain within the spirit of the legislation, the authority should consider the intended use of the licence.
Local licensing authorities are therefore able to address any local concerns that there may be about this issue. A number of local licensing authorities have already introduced a taxi ‘intended use’ policy when considering licence applications.
These policies are reducing the number of taxis working predominantly on pre-booked fares in other areas. If there are particular concerns in a specific area, these should be raised with the relevant licensing authorities.
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament
This isn’t what TfL have been saying, in fact they have been lying to us….but that’s no surprise, TfL directors have plenty of form for telling porkies.