Town hall leader drives government taxi inquiry
THE government is setting up a working group investigating the licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles after Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell wrote questioning current legislation.
As it stands private hire cars from neighbouring boroughs can ply their trade in Rochdale even though they were licensed elsewhere.
This can caused major issues if different authorities have differing standards. Coun Farnell said: “Although this may not sound that serious to the public, it has caused problems for Rochdale.
“For a start, standards are not uniform across the region which means a taxi which had been granted a licence from another authority may not pass our stringent safeguarding and health and safety checks,”
He was so concerned about the issue he put pen to paper and asked Department for Transport Minister MP John Hayes to act.
“This this is a matter of customer safety. Unless we have a clearly defined and uniformed conditions of service, how will we know the visiting drivers are up to the same standards with the same checks as our own taxis,” Coun Farnell added. The council leader has been joined by London mayor Sadiq Khan in writing to the Minister requesting a reform of cross-border hiring law.
“The fact the Minister has written back to me outlining his plans for a working group which will look into the issue is a step in the right direction.
“But talk is cheap so we’ll wait with interest to see if the talk turns into action which means our residents will be able to travel in safety,” Coun Farnell added.