The Minister of State for Department for Transport, George Freeman MP has suggested that the Queen’s speech may include taxi law reform provisions.

In a House of Commons debate on 3 of October, MPs debated Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Reform.  The Minister of State for Department for Transport said during the debate that “the Government are thinking about their legislative programme”.  The Minister said that raising the issues with the current laws around taxi licensing is timely and MPs have raised these “…at a time when the Government are pulling together their final plans for the Queen’s Speech.”

What can be expected?

We already know that the Government, through the Taxi and Private Hire Task Group’s work, has committed to bringing forward legislation to introduce national minimum standards, national enforcement powers and a national licensing database.  The Minister specifically referred to these in his response on behalf of the Government saying: “The Government … made a commitment to legislate on a number of key matters: national minimum standards, national enforcement powers and a national licensing database. I believe that, taken together, those measures would enable passengers—wherever and whoever they might be—to know that their driver had passed a nationally agreed safety standard, and was working with robust oversight.”

Statutory guidance

The Minister also used the opportunity to update MPs in the statutory guidance.

In his response, he said that the final version of the statutory guidance for local authorities in England and Wales “…will be issued very shortly.”

Future of Mobility consultation

Closing his speech, the Minister confirmed that there will be a consultation launched on the future of mobility in the UK including innovation in the taxi and private hire sector saying the Government will consider “…how we can support new technology and innovation through regulatory frameworks. I am delighted to have this opportunity to announce to the House that I will shortly be launching a very wide consultation on the future of mobility, which will look into how existing and future transport systems can interact. In the long term, as part of our future of mobility review, we will consider how to introduce a regulatory framework which recognises the changes that the sector has undergone and can adapt to innovation.”

Stephen McCaffrey

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

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