Tough new restrictions should be placed on minicab drivers to address failings highlighted by child sexual exploitation scandals in towns such as Rochdale and Rotherham, according to a government review.
A report published today said that minicab and taxi drivers should be banned from working outside the area where they are licensed.
The recommendation, set out in an inquiry commissioned by the Department for Transport, would close the loophole that lets drivers ply their trade in one area despite being licensed by a council elsewhere, often with poorer safety standards.
The review called for national standards to control licensing in all English councils, compulsory CCTV in every cab, requirements for drivers to speak and write in English and on-the-spot fines for those flouting regulations.
Edgbaston MP calls for tougher rules on taxi licences
Councils need more powers to take action against unsafe taxi drivers, a Birmingham MP has said.
In a letter to the Transport Secretary, Edgbaston’s Preet Gill said she has “concerns” over taxi drivers registered under one authority working elsewhere.
She said December’s Belgrave Middleway crash had “raised concerns” about the lack of monitoring of drivers.
The local Private Hire Drivers’ Association said it supports action against people working out of area.
Taxi drivers could be exploiting lax local rules to avoid tougher checks, LGA warns
Taxi drivers could be exploiting a postcode lottery to avoid stringent criminal records checks, the Local Government Association has warned.
Inconsistencies in the level of checks carried out by different local authorities means that drivers with criminal records or poor driving standards could target places perceived to have rules which were less tough, a spokesman said.
“Some might have limitations about certain types of previous convictions on drivers so there might be discrepancies on that in some areas, or they might not need to pass a local knowledge test, for example,” he added.
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