Taxis and private hire vehicles: the road to reform - Transport Committee Contents

4  Conclusion

32. Our inquiry has demonstrated the clear need for the Government to bring taxi and PHV legislation into the twenty-first century. Without reform the legislation will continue to struggle to deal with modern developments, such as the internet and mobile telephony, leading to increasingly complex case law and further tensions and difficulties with cross-border hire. The principles for new legislation which we have proposed above attempt to strike a balance between protecting public safety on a consistent basis across England and Wales and the desirability of maintaining local control over taxis and PHVs, particularly given the Government's commitment to localism. It is essential that the taxi and PHV trades are involved in discussions about legal reform but, even more importantly, the Government must ensure that users are involved and that their views and concerns are paramount. Local authorities must include taxis and PHVs in local transport plans, using such plans to justify their approaches to licensing and enforcement.

33. We welcome the Minister's commitment to reform taxi and PHV legislation, which he has recently described as "a mess".[68] However, we are not satisfied that passing the issue to the Law Commission to study is appropriate or necessary. New policy thinking is required from the Government, now not in two years time. We call on the Government to set out its policy proposals before the end of the year, with a view to holding a consultation exercise in 2012, introducing draft legislation in 2013-14 and taking an Act or legislative reform order through Parliament before the next general election.

68   HC 872-iv, Q364. Back

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Prepared 19 July 2011