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Law Commission calls for greater council control over taxis

The Law Commission has called for local councils to have greater powers over taxis and private hire vehicles in an effort to develop a simpler, more modern set of national standards.

Following its three-year review, the Law Commission has also recommended that local licensing authorities should have the power to impound vehicles used in connection with touting, while also having the right to limit the number of taxis working in their licensing area.

Additionally, there has been a call for the introduction of mandatory disability awareness training for all taxi and private hire drivers.

In response to the proposed regulation changes, Cllr Tony Page, the Local Government Association’s licensing spokesperson, said: “Councils have long called for reform of outdated laws regulating taxi and private hire vehicles so we are pleased the Law Commission has listened to our concerns.

“Powers to seize unsafe vehicles or those used to tout for trade would help councils target rogue or irresponsible drivers while licensing niche vehicles, such as limousines, means people travelling in any vehicle could be confident both the driver and the car have passed council checks.”

It has also been suggested that by introducing a national minimum safety standard, which could be improved or tailored by councils, would also provide the flexibility for councils to adapt to changes in technology or local conditions and ensure the safety of all passengers.

A DfT spokesperson told PSE: “We are considering the recommendations and will respond in due course.”

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