Transport for London (TfL) has issued a supplementary Notice concerning the Divisional Court judgment, in December, which confirmed the correct approach to operate under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998.

We previously reported that in the case of United Trade Action Group Ltd, R (On the Application Of) v Transport for London (Rev1) [2021] EWHC 3290 (Admin), Lord Justice Males and Mr Justice Fraser were asked to make a declaration on whether, in order to comply with the provisions of the 1998 Act, a licensed operator must accept a contractual obligation to the passenger as a principal to carry out the booking (“the Operator issue”). 

On the Operator issue, Lord Justice Males and Mr Justice Fraser said:

“In our judgment the 1998 Act plainly contemplates that acceptance of a booking by the operator will create a contract between the operator and the passenger and, furthermore, that this will be a contract by which the operator undertakes an obligation as principal to provide the transportation service, that is to say to provide a vehicle and driver to convey the passenger to the agreed destination. That is what is meant by a “private hire booking”.” 

TfL has now issued a Notice (22/21) setting out its views on the implications of the judgement in London’s licensed operators.  In the notice, TfL said:

“All London PHV operators must ensure they are compliant with this requirement, including considering whether any changes are required to written terms and conditions, the booking process and considering any other changes that may be required to their operations to ensure regulatory compliance.”

It said that those operators who do not have terms and conditions must “demonstrate to TfL through their operating procedures, booking processes or otherwise that they enter into a contractual obligation with passengers to provide the journey which is the subject of the booking.”

 TfL has begun a review of PHV operator terms and conditions and has written to several PHV operators as a first tranche, including those with an imminent licence renewal date. TfL said: 

“Once you receive a letter from TfL or a request through routine compliance inspections it is important that you comply with the instructions contained within that letter and provide evidence to TfL, including any written terms and conditions and confirmation of whether you have implemented any changes to customer and/or driver terms and conditions, booking processes, information to customers and drivers, standard operating procedures or otherwise.”

Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.

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