Several constituents have written with regard to issues with the taxi trade  and private hire sector, and I have received this response from the Minister at the Department of Transport:

"The Government understands the nature of the issues currently being raised with respect to the taxi and private hire sector, particularly in how new means of engaging services are impacting on traditional business models.

The Department is responsible for setting the regulatory structure within which local licensing authorities in England and Wales license the taxi and private hire sector. The legislation that provides for licensing is enabling in its nature, giving local licensing authorities the discretion to set standards that they deem to be appropriate. Decisions on taxi and private hire licensing conditions in London are a matter for the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL).

As you may know, the Law Commission published a comprehensive report on reforming taxi and private hire vehicle legislation. The Department has been giving careful consideration to the recommendations in that report, and will (in line with the protocol between the Government and the Law Commission) publish a response in due course.

At the recent Westminster Hall Debate on the 'Regulation of working conditions in the private hire industry' I announced that I will set up a working group to consider how private hire vehicle and taxi licensing authorities use their powers. The group's terms of reference and membership are still being considered."


I will keep a watching brief on this and update constituents accordingly.