Taxi drivers around the country have threatened to take industrial over controversial plans to amend rules regarding taxi drivers set out in a new bill before Parliament. Meanwhile in London, not a single word from the LTDA, London Taxi drivers largest representative organisation, with an alleged 10,000 membership.
On Tuesday the Government (who have made the statement, there is no time left under this parliament to debate the Law Commission report) had a committee vote to push the Deregulation Bill 2014 through to the next stage, which will effectively fast track the controversial plans.
GMB, the union who represents both Hackney Carriage and Private hire drivers, say the introduction of unregulated taxi drivers, ending criminal records checks, vehicle checks and local licensing, will be a hammer blow to the taxi and private hire industry.
The union says that it cannot rule out direct action by members over changes to laws on taxis government included in the 2014 Bill.
Mick Rix GMB National Officer said: “One of the amendments related to operators granting licences that could be used in other areas is that someone in Newcastle could grant a licence to someone who may then work in Preston.
“That means checks can’t effectively be enforced in another area. They wont be checking vehicles or drivers. Its a transport safety nightmare.”
Mark Selly, of Preston Hackney Carriage Association, added:
“CRB checks are the thin edge of the wedge. Preston has 187 Hackney licences, if they deregulate that restriction who knows how many there would be, its a threat to workload, takings and people just doing their job.”