Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Is Northern Ireland A Forerunner Of What London Can Expect From The Law Commission?

All Licensed Taxis and Private Hire, will be able to pick up fares from September

At present only public hire taxis are allowed to pick up passengers on the street
A major change to how taxis operate in Northern Ireland will come into force in September.

From then, private-hire taxis will no longer have to be pre-booked and, like public-hire black cabs, will be allowed to pick passengers up off the street.

The change was due to come into force in April, but was delayed to allow the taxi industry to prepare for the move.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said the change would provide the public with "more choice".

He said the introduction of a single-tier licensing system is designed to make it easier for the consumer to tell if the vehicle is a legal taxi and to give the customer greater choice as to the type of taxi they wish to use.

Its introduction will also allow drivers from outside Belfast to come into the city centre and work, increasing the supply of taxis in the city centre at peak times, particularly at weekends.

"I remain fully committed to providing a safe, fair and fit-for-purpose taxi industry in Northern Ireland. Single-tier licensing is a significant step which will help achieve this goal," he said.

"Having the ability to obtain any taxi without pre-booking will help to provide the public with more choice. It will also give those in the taxi industry more opportunities for business in these difficult economic times."

Mr Attwood said he was also temporarily de-regulating taxi meters and fares for Belfast public hire taxis to bring them into line with the rest of the taxi industry.

'Competitive market'

"This will establish a level and fair playing field as Belfast public hire taxis will be able to charge competitive rates to consumers and will not have to adhere to taxi fares set by law.

"I am also looking at a package of measures to enable public hire to develop and enhance their business opportunities, consistent with the taxis legislation.

"I believe this will help to create a competitive market and will bring about benefits for operators, drivers and passengers alike."

At present, only Belfast public-hire taxis are required by law to have meters installed.

Not all private-hire taxis in Northern Ireland have meters.

The department of environment said it will introduce a maximum fare structure for all taxis operating in Northern Ireland in 2014.

This will include the requirement that all taxis must have an approved taxi meter and receipt machine installed.

Within Belfast only wheelchair accessible vehicles will be permitted to stand at taxi ranks.

Source: BBC, Northern Ireland.


Hard but fair said...

In effect a free for all!

Well if that numpty in Ulster thinks that's the solution, he has has much idea about the economics of the cab trade and the needs of the public as John Mason!

Anonymous said...

Coming to a city near you soon

I'm Spartacus said...

We will have a two tier system but due to lack of enforcement and the 'invasion' of out of town PFH along with PH and non licenced touts it in effect a one tier.


Anonymous said...

Sparticus is correct. Perhaps it is all part of the game plan
No enforcement of any description and the lot eventually merge into a one tier unofficial system which will be hived off to an outside body in much the same way as other functions continue to be privatised since TfL took over from The Met.
When will the LTDA, Unite and the LCDC wake up and protect this trade?

I'm Spartacus said...

Yes by 2018 there will be NSL or similar running the show, fixes penalties (decriminalised) so that over ranking, illegal PFH Etc. will be a cash cow.

TfL have squeezed as much juice out of us whilst treading a fine line legally about what they can recover from us.

Just look at how many well paid policy and integration non jobs that now reside at Palestra all knowing nothing about licensing but everything about TfL's agenda.

There is speculation that Mr Mason's role has been 'expanded' to include congestion charge so the good old cab trade can continue to pay the majority of his salary.

We have been cleverly divided and manoeuvred. The next stage is to hive us off to the highest bidder whilst retaining as many well paid 'contract compliance managers ' as decency allows.

Project Horizon? Project Doomsday? It don't matter, unless we join together th exposé and resist, we are done for!


TfL you don't fool us!

Anonymous said...

Well done Grant Davis & Co. whilst they distracted the trade with the identifier issue the real problem propagated within Palestra now looks likely to be unleashed on London whilst the average Taxi driver buries his head up his arse
enjoy it while it lasts

Anonymous said...

Thanks mr davis cannot wait till it comes to London ranking up at kings cross with phi taxis

Anonymous said...

Complacency is the main culprit in this and it serves us right. For too long we have had this mindset that the public is there to serve us and not the the other way round.Every refusal, drive past and rudeness, has driven the public to find alternative modes of transport to get them home. Regardless of whether it is legal or not.
As has been mentioned the small minded agenda of the minority of Green badges who feel the need to persecute yellow badges, has only given any changes more credence to the ideals of those who hold the power.
We have brought this upon ourselves, with our in fighting and general apathy to the people who pay our wages THE PUBLIC.



Anonymous said...

What planet do you live on Richard?