Friday, March 03, 2017

Too Much, Too Many...Capping PHV Licenses. By Lee Ward.

Capping PHV Licenses?
I recently sent an email to the Chairmen of NALEO (National Association of Licensing Enforcement Officers) and ILO (Institute of Licensing Officers) with my suggestions for what could, or rather should, be considered as a National Standard for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers.
Currently, it says so in the LGMPA 1976 at Section 48, no cap can be placed on the amount of Private Hire Licenses issued by a Council, although I cannot find why this was decided when the Act was written, but I am sure it was put in there for a reason which I will find one day because I need to. But, if a Unmet Demand Survey is done every three years, then a cap can be placed on Hackney Licenses, so really, why not Private Hire also?
Until we find that answer, I decided to give NALEO and ILO my thoughts, these would not only slow down the issue of too many licenses, but would raise the standard of driver also, but that’s in my opinion of course, let’s see if you agree.
My suggestions are;
• Enhanced DBS check
• Driving Standards test
• Local knowledge test
• Intended use policy
• Applicants to LIVE within 20 mile of the area to be licensed
• NVQ or BTEC Professional Taxi & Private Hire Driver Qualification
• Group 2 Medical
• Proof of eligibility to work within the UK
• English Language Test to level CEFR C1 minimum
• Maths Test to level OCR Functional Skills minimum 
(I would love to see the look on Uber and the GMB’s faces when these get placed as a standard across the country, they didn’t like the idea of just an English Test)
Also, on the back of this, I noticed in the LTDA’s January Edition stated that 

So I emailed Mr NcNamara and introduced myself and offered my suggestions and help with regards to the Private Hire sector, I didn’t get a reply of course until I emailed again stating common courtesy does not hurt where I then got a reply from a Lady who works for Newington Communications who stated;
We do not plan to campaign for minimum national standards over and beyond criteria that you have listed below, which drivers in Sheffield must comply with.
Hopefully they go for equal and not below if they are not going for over and beyond…
On a positive side to this, the solicitor for ILO emailed me asking if I would like to sit down and have a chat about things and NALEO took my letter that I sent to their Annual Meeting at the end of January to be discussed, I await the feedback from it with eager anticipation.

Mobile Phones and PDA’s
The news going round about PDA’s and Mobile Phones regarding both the Taxi and Private Hire Trades needs some clarity, and I found the best explanation on the Save Our Black Cabs Facebook Forum by Jason Clauson and a well written explanation it is too, thanks for this Jason.
To Read the full article that Jason wrote, >Click Here<
But to summarise it states;
The LAW has not changed, only the fine and points. Therefore we should all KNOW how to use a phone as a professional driver when at the wheel, if in doubt then I strongly suggest that you click on the link and READ Jason’s article, you cannot afford not to…
The device MUST be in a cradle fixed to the dash and it is OK to interact with the device to accept a booking ONLY when SAFE to do so. 
You break the law when your interaction with the device interferes with your ability to stay in control of your vehicle.
Common sense must always prevail when in control of a vehicle (my words, not Jason’s, he explains it much better)
Taxi Leaks Extra Comment 
TfLTPH have stated on their Twitter account (read by about 5% of the trade) that "The use of apps on a cradle-mounted phone is lawful if done with common sense and good judgement:"
Taxi Leaks has asked TfL to make a Notice To The Trade, defining common sense and good judgement....unfortunately they have refused to do this. 

We at Taxi Leaks believe this tweet from TfL is just a lame excuse to try to protect Uber's modus operandi. 
This company cannot opperate without driver interaction with a mobile and SatNav while their vehicles are in motion. (How does an uber driver accept a second and subsequent job on UberPool without touching the phone?)

TfL have also stated that the law hasn't changed, just the penalties. 
This means that TfL knew Uber's system would require the driver to break the law, but they licensed the company, regardless of the 2003 Act.

GMB United...?
Well, what a week I have had, and it’s going to rain at the weekend too for the extra bonus!!
Apart from saving two drivers their licenses at Committee hearings, I also got two vehicles passed with exemptions to get the owners back on the road working and Sheffield had its largest trade demo with around 80-90 drivers attending, to which I thank each and every one of you.
If anyone missed the slight slur on the Drivers Association that I Chair, called ALPHA, you can watch it below.


Well, I am going to have one of these, I have given you all enough to think about and I am ready for one… 

and, if I may so, I deserve one…
Bottoms up !!


Ian Godbehere said...

Good read as always Lee. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

hi Lee - one of the items in your suggested list of requirements is: Applicants to LIVE within 20 miles of the area to be licensed - there aren't many Licenced London Taxi Drivers (as the late great Monty Shiman, was oft to say: We detest the term, BLACK CAB DRIVER!), who can afford to live within 20 miles of our Licenced Area - indeed, I think you'll find that, many live very much further afield tha 20 miles

lee ward said...

With the breaking news that Uberk have lost in court against the English Language test today, maybe thats enough for every council to implement what has been suggested.

Time for a cull me thinks...

Acnedriver. said...

The unmet Demand condition for Hackney Carriages was introduced in Transport act 1985.

Limits on numbers of Hackneys, were abolished to match PHV's.

However a Late Day amendment in the Lords, by Liberal Peer, Earl of Winchchelsea, added the caveat "if , but ,only if, there is no demand which is significant"

This was a rather stupid amendment which has dragged many, many Authorities through the Courts over the years.

Anonymous said...

The Private hire section of The Immigration Act 2016 has already introduced a legal requirement for all licensing authorities to ensure 'right to work in the UK checks' are completed. SO THIS IS ALREADY A NATIONAL STANDARD.

lee ward said...

Actually Acnedriver, the topic was discussed in 1976 when the 1976 Act was just a Bill, I am reading the whole argument this weekend to break it down.

lee ward said...

Anonymous at 8.29PM THANKS FOR THAT INFO Now try adding to the list and making a sugestion to go forward instead of just pulling down whats being suggested.

The harder part is making a solution, anyone can be a critic.