Licensing barrister and head of Taxi Defence Barristers, Stephen McCaffrey, was asked to comment on a Times article on the growing “doing lifts” industry.

The request was made to Stephen after his “Doing lifts” article highlighting the dangers of this unlawful practice.

Read the “Illegal taxi drivers thrive on Facebook” article or download a PDF copy.

Stephen McCaffrey said: “Taxi licensing law is very clear, this practice is unlawful unless the driver, vehicle and operation are properly licensed. Drivers caught unlawfully providing “lift” services can be prosecuted and face a substantial fines and the prospect of a criminal record.

“Aside from those giving the lifts Accepting a “lift” from a complete stranger who is both unvetted and uninsured poses obvious safety risks to people. Additionally, there are no guarantees that the vehicles used to provide the “lift” is safe or even roadworthy.

“Properly licensed taxi and private hire drivers undergo rigorous checks to ensure they are fit and proper. The unregulated “lifts” industry not only fundamentally undermine the entire licensing regime but also licensed drivers who provide a legitimate and safe service. Frankly, although the current licensing regime has been unfit for purpose for many many years no one could crow Bar this industry into it.

“There is currently not enough being done by local councils to effectively deal with this completely unlawful and unsafe industry in order to ensure public safety and to maintain public confidence in the licensing system.”

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory Barrister specialising in taxi and private hire licensing law.
Head of Taxi Defence Barristers and Taxi Defence Scotland.