What's going on in Parliament
Charles Walker Andrew Jones Lyn Brown
Charles Walker Chair, Procedure Committee, asked the Secretary of State for Transport:
"What steps the Government is taking in conjunction with the Mayor of London to safeguard the licensed taxi trade; and if he will make a statement".
Andrew JonesParliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) replied (written):
'The Government supports choice for consumers, and wants to see both taxis and private hire vehicles prosper.
'The Mayor, Transport for London (TfL), the police and local authorities have a range of tools available to them to seek to address any concerns they may have over the safety or performance of taxi and/or private hire vehicle services.
'Effective use of these tools allow both licensed taxi and private hire vehicles to operate lawfully and meet the demands of London’s travelling public'.
In other words the Government will do what they do now....nothing.
And so the protests will roll on.
Blurring The Lines:
As we suspected, ministers and shadow ministers are now blurring the lines between Taxi Drivers and Private Hire drivers (when it suits them), as can can see by Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Home Office) statement:
"As my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea Eastsaid, the new clause would place local authorities under a duty to consider child protection when they issue licences for drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles. We support it because we think it could lead to important safeguarding measures.
"Taxi drivers do a fantastic job up and down the country. I could not happily live my life without them. More than 242,000 licensed vehicles in England provide transport for millions of people every day. Outside of rural areas, interestingly, there is a high satisfaction level—about 68%—with taxi and private hire services.
"The review of child exploitation in Oxford made it clear that taxi drivers can and do play a very positive role in tackling grooming and child exploitation.
"The report noted that taxi drivers had driven young girls to the police station when they were worried that the girls were being sexually exploited, and that they were well regarded across the city because of the role that they had played".