Town hall leader drives gov­ern­ment taxi in­quiry

Rochdale Observer - - NEWS -

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.

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