Monday, July 01, 2013

THE LAW, THE LAW COMMISSION AND THE TAXI TRADE....by Mike Holder.

THE LAW

Which laws govern taxis?

The Hackney Carriage Act 1831 was the first major legislation governing taxis and has been renewed and extended since – below are some other Acts of Parliament that apply to the trade:

  • London Hackney Carriage Act 1843
  • Town Police Clauses Act 1847
  • Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869
  • London Cab Act 1896, 1968
  • London Cab and Stage Carriage Act 1907
  • London Cab Order 1934, 1973
  • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
  • Transport Act 1980
  • Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

The law commission are seeking to repeal all these acts, bin them and start afresh

Under section 5 of the interim report the Law commission will not be seeking to define in law Plying for hire.

In reference to section 5 of the report:

''We suggest moving away from the out-dated concept of plying for hire and use instead a more modern definition of the limits to the way private hire services may be offered, using the concept of pre-booking (which would be statutorily defined) through a licensed operator''


This will lead to a nation standard for Private Hire and Taxis.

If the Law Commissions recommendations make it through to legislation, minicabs, illegally plying for hire will not be reportable as an offence, as in the eyes of the law, they will just be parked cars.

A minicab flagged down could then take the more modern concept and enter into a pre booking arrangement by handing the passenger a phone to record details with a licensed operator.





Touting however, is one of the hardest offenses to bring to court as you have to prove solicitation. Hense the minute amount of cases that actually make it to court ( just 6 in the first quarter of 2013) compared to the huge problem witness most nights across Lonon.


The authorities use word play to to disguise the enormity of the problem refering to licensed PHV touts as UNLICENSED MINICABS.


The police in general turn a blind eye to touting, as the problem is too huge for them to tackle. 

Wandsworth Met actually recruited touts and advised them to work for local minicab firms and encouraged the proliferation of satellite offices with clipboard johnnies borough wide. 

What exactly is a taxi tout?

A tout is someone who acts “in a public place to solicit persons to hire vehicles to carry them as passengers”. Typically they operate in mainline railway stations, airports or other busy public places, and offer a cheaper than standard fare – although invariably the fare finally paid is many times the standard rate. 

Also touting may invalidate any insurance they may have – and as the touts and drivers are acting illegally it is unlikely they will have specialist hire-and-reward insurance cover. Touting was made a criminal offence in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which the Law Commission are seeking to repeal.

So, who's got your back?

Trade organisations actively engaged in action to demonstrate disapproval of the report equate to less than 8% of the total Taxi trade. 

Funny though, the LTDA with their enormouse 9000 membership base, don't see any danger in the Law Commission recommendations and have refused to meet with other trade orgs to discuss the issue on numerous occasions. 

If you are a member of the LTDA, actively paying their wages, how do you feel about their capitulation to the Law Commission report.

Meanwhile the majority of the trade have their heads in the sand. They will be the ones shouting the loudest when the muck finally hits the fan and they become no more than glorified minicabs.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

With hailo and the like we already are glorified mini cabs

Anonymous said...

The LTDA are lobbying parliament tomorrow, you would have thought they would have instructed their members to contact their MP. Maybe they think the LC proposals will not be passed through and will be kicked into the long grass as we are likely to have an election in less than 2 years. Why do they keep their cards close to their chest and don't explain to their members what they think the scenario will be if it goes through? You can bet one thing if does go through than on day 1Heathrow will kick out Taxis and minicabs will be in the feeder park instead.SWBOY

Roger said...

Anonymous.Says We Are Glorified Mimicabs Already,With Hailo And The Like.....Is It Good Morning....Steve Wright,Griffin.etc ?....Or One Of The 3 Circuits...Or UTG...?.If Not Good Morning Anyway....A Question If I May...Anonymous...You See NO Danger Here Then ?...Regards Roger.

Here Endeth the Lesson said...

A good article and rant from too little, too late Bailey. Unfortunately, without a publication that reaches out to the trade at large, there will be little support... Committee members of the Rmt and others advised a paper was of paramount importance and without one a state of panic and disarray would be the result !

Collin Powell said...

Dear Here Endeth the Lesson
The Lobby of Parliment is not just an RMT initiative.
The GMB and Unites nation executives will be there in force. The Lobby was advertised in the CTN and also the indipendant trade press.
Any lack of support from the trade in general will be down to the apperthy of the drivers, not in the lack of an RMT publication.

Yes the RMT does need a paper but without support from the members to produce content and offers to distribute, it could be a vast waist of expense.

We've just seen the UCG fail to get their highly professional and expensive issue out to the trade, with a quarter of the batch run still in boxes at the oak, over a month after publication. This was not because of lack of effort by the committee, but the failure of the members to volunteer to distribute.

Anonymous said...

Nature of the game most drivers want to go to work earn there money and forget about it as soon as the engine is switched off

Cabgeeza said...

Collin
No idea where you got the figures about ucn distribution 6 left out of 80 boxes, that's 10k distributed
Not too terrible.
Cabgeeza

Collin Powell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.