Matt Rodda MP, who is also a Shadow Transport Minister, spoke on behalf of the Opposition in a debate on Taxi and Private Hire Licensing on Tuesday afternoon.
Matt challenged the Government over their hands-off approach to taxis and private hire vehicles and their failure to legislate during their eight years in power, despite the calls from Labour, trade unions and campaigners, leaving passengers unprotected.
He also spoke about Labour’s plans to reform the legislation governing taxi and private hire services, introducing national standards to guarantee safety and accessibility.
Matt said: “The piecemeal evolution of the regulation of taxi and private hire services has resulted in a complex and fragmented licensing system, with services differing greatly across the country. The lack of national standards, has resulted in a very variable picture regarding quality, safety and accessibility.”
“The Government has stalled over tackling the issue of cross-border working by private hire vehicles. There have long been concerns about private hire vehicles operating outside their licensed geographical areas, which puts taxis at a competitive disadvantage as they have to return to their licensed area after taking a fare outside their borough. Cross-border working also has worrying implications for safety, with drivers who obtain a license in an area with lower safety criteria able to operate in areas with more stringent safety criteria unchecked.”
“The Labour party has repeatedly called for the introduction of national standards for licensing authorities. The Government have previously said that standards should be the responsibility of licensing authorities. I hope they will now commit to introducing national standards.”