The The main aspects of responses include to its improving public transport consultation shows a resounding no for its proposal to consolidate taxi licensing under a single authority. 

The Welsh Government consulted, amongst other matters, on its preferred proposal “to redirect all of the existing taxi and PHV licensing functions away from local authorities and into a national licensing authority”. 

There was however a resounding negative response to this proposal with 83% of respondents saying no.  

According to the response report: “Most responses from local authorities disagreed with this proposal. They commented that further clarification is a required on how the JTA would work and felt that insufficient research had been undertaken. Many also commented that such a proposal would mean the potential loss of local knowledge. 

“Responses from taxi operators including the Cardiff Hackney Alliance also disagreed with this proposal and commented that local knowledge is important and centralised administration could cause unnecessary delays. However, there was some support for the proposal from the industry”. 

Other proposals included: 

  • 99% support for the introduction of national standards which will apply to all taxis and PHVs in Wales
  • 96% support for the proposal that a local authority be able to revoke or suspend a licence relating to any vehicle operating in its area, even if it did not issue the original licence
  • 99% agreement with the proposal to create a database or make other arrangements for relevant safeguarding information to be shared

The report’s publication comes in the same week however in which the Welsh Assembly confirmed that there will be a delay until the next Assembly elections in 2021. 

The Assembly said: “we will introduce a public transport Bill in this Assembly term, building on the proposals in the ‘Improving public transport’ White Paper…The White Paper also sought people’s views about a series of proposals to modernise the licensing system for taxis and private hire vehicles to respond to this rapidly changing market. Aspects of those proposals received clear support, but they also produced ideas, from the industry, from trade unions, from local authorities, to go further in addressing the challenges faced by the industry. These further ideas, coupled with developments at a UK level, have led us to conclude that more time should be taken to finalise our approach to taxis and private hire vehicles. Legislation on these aspects of the White Paper will now be brought forward the other side of the next Assembly elections”.

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in taxi and private hire licensing law, appeals and defence.

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