Safety fears over "free-for-all" private hire changes

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Private Hire Liaison Service spokesman Khurram Shehzad Bradford Private Hire Liaison Service spokesman Khurram Shehzad

FEARS that the relaxation of private hire rules could lead to a dangerous free-for-all and attacks by sham drivers has led to police chiefs lobbying the government.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson has joined others across the country who want to get three changes in the reforms removed from the Deregulation Bill, which is going through Parliament.

Currently, only licensed taxi drivers can get behind the wheel of a marked private hire vehicle, they have to be regularly relicensed and there are restrictions on taxi drivers who are licensed by one authority working in other areas.

Those against proposed changes fear the Deregulation Bill will mean limited safeguards would be swept away, opening up the prospect of a private hire free-for-all, with no guarantees that the driver of a vehicle is who they say they are.

Mr Burns-Williamson said some changes may be needed but added: “There are real concerns that taking away these safeguards will pose a real risk to unsuspecting passengers climbing into a taxi as there will be no guarantee that a driver is who he says he is.

“I am committed to working with local partners and local people to make sure our communities are safer and feel safer and will be working with my fellow PCCs to ensure everything we can do is done to make sure these crucial safeguards stay firmly in place.”

The cross-party group of 19 PCCs is, led by Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd who said: "The current system is far from perfect, but at least there are safeguards there which mean people can have confidence that, when they get into a marked private hire vehicle, it is genuine and being driven by a licensed operator.

"Taking these safeguards away opens the prospect of a private hire free-for-all. There will be no guarantee that a driver is who he says he is, and the inevitable consequence is that there will be an increase in people being attacked after a night out."

The PCCs have written to Ken Clarke, the minister responsible for the Bill, urging him to remove three of the measures and introduce a dedicated Taxi Bill so that reforms can be brought in a considered way which will be subject to rigorous scrutiny.

Bradford Private Hire Liaison Service spokesman Khurram Shehzad said concerns over public safety were well understood, but added some of the changes would work in taxi drivers' favour - especially by allowing people who do not hold the taxi licence to drive that vehicle when it is not at work.

"Our drivers would welcome that change although they do understand peoples' worries. Many of our drivers have it difficult because they work late shifts but have to get up again to drive their own children to school or do other family runs because their wives can't use the car.

"The cost of running a second car is too high, they just can't afford it - maybe the council could look at taxi visors for the front of cars that can be put on and taken off again when not being used as a taxi."

Mr Shehzad said the idea of letting other taxi drivers from out of Bradford come in and trade would not be well received. He said: "We have high standards of training and checks in Bradford, other drivers do not - that's what could really put the public at risk."

Bradford Council's Deputy leader with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, Imran Hussain added: "I have grave concerns that someone could be driving a vehicle as a taxi drive without any training or checks to see if they are fit and proper to drive but in terms of a taxi driver's wife, partner or members of their family using it - I don't have an issue over that.

"We have got to appreciate that taxi driving is a hardworking trade, working long hours for very little money and there are some who really struggle to get a second car for their family's use. If there is some way of compromising to cover that but keep the public safe then I'm all for looking at that."

A report on the Deregulation Bill is due to be discussed in the House of Commons tomorrow.

Comments (19)

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5:26pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Mixter says...

What about if this 'other person' using the car when 'its not at work' actually chancing their arm for a few quid? How many of us look that close at a drivers badge? And do we really know that badge hasnt been knocked up on a home printer?

Nope. A taxi shouldnt be driven by anyone but the taxi-driver if theres any TAXI badges on it ANYWHERE. Then, no mistakes can be made.
What about if this 'other person' using the car when 'its not at work' actually chancing their arm for a few quid? How many of us look that close at a drivers badge? And do we really know that badge hasnt been knocked up on a home printer? Nope. A taxi shouldnt be driven by anyone but the taxi-driver if theres any TAXI badges on it ANYWHERE. Then, no mistakes can be made. Mixter
  • Score: 23

5:41pm Sun 22 Jun 14

PeterBooth says...

There should be a general and robust tightening up of all rules regarding private hire drivers, a complete zero tolerance towards them especially regarding their manner of driving, which is atrocious. Twice recently I have been at a tyre depot and witnessed taxis turning up to reluctantly buy new tyres to replace tyres on their vehicles that are well below the minimum legal tread depth. So maybe a 6 month campaign by the police to stop them regularly for speeding,un roadworthy vehicles etc. They would then have the choice of either getting their act together or heading down to the Jobcentre.
There should be a general and robust tightening up of all rules regarding private hire drivers, a complete zero tolerance towards them especially regarding their manner of driving, which is atrocious. Twice recently I have been at a tyre depot and witnessed taxis turning up to reluctantly buy new tyres to replace tyres on their vehicles that are well below the minimum legal tread depth. So maybe a 6 month campaign by the police to stop them regularly for speeding,un roadworthy vehicles etc. They would then have the choice of either getting their act together or heading down to the Jobcentre. PeterBooth
  • Score: 31

5:41pm Sun 22 Jun 14

pcmanners says...

This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety. pcmanners
  • Score: -35

6:02pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Tinybantam says...

pcmanners wrote:
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.[/p][/quote]Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy. Tinybantam
  • Score: 17

6:04pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Tinybantam says...

Tinybantam wrote:
pcmanners wrote:
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.
Sorry I should have said,"robbed or raped whilst travelling in a taxi, riven by someone posing as a taxi driver"..........
[quote][p][bold]Tinybantam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.[/p][/quote]Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.[/p][/quote]Sorry I should have said,"robbed or raped whilst travelling in a taxi, riven by someone posing as a taxi driver".......... Tinybantam
  • Score: 13

7:06pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Cooperlane2 says...

Uber...
Uber... Cooperlane2
  • Score: 1

7:42pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Apollo says...

Every time a spot check takes place on licenced taxi drivers on Bradford at least 40% are found to be defective of operating other than on accordance with the licence.

Too late lads - you have brought this on yourselves by refusing to obey the rules and regulations. Tough.
Every time a spot check takes place on licenced taxi drivers on Bradford at least 40% are found to be defective of operating other than on accordance with the licence. Too late lads - you have brought this on yourselves by refusing to obey the rules and regulations. Tough. Apollo
  • Score: 14

8:26pm Sun 22 Jun 14

pcmanners says...

Tinybantam wrote:
Tinybantam wrote:
pcmanners wrote:
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.
Sorry I should have said,"robbed or raped whilst travelling in a taxi, riven by someone posing as a taxi driver"..........
The Government simply wants people to be in control of their own lives.

Decades of socialism have given rise to the mistaken expectation that it is acceptable for the state to interfere in matters that should be the personal responsibility of the individual. This has lead to weakening of our society.

The Government is determined to make people rely on their own resources and stand on their own two feet. This can only be done by removing the state as completely as possible from their lives. It should not be the job of Government to protect women from criminal acts.
[quote][p][bold]Tinybantam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tinybantam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.[/p][/quote]Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.[/p][/quote]Sorry I should have said,"robbed or raped whilst travelling in a taxi, riven by someone posing as a taxi driver"..........[/p][/quote]The Government simply wants people to be in control of their own lives. Decades of socialism have given rise to the mistaken expectation that it is acceptable for the state to interfere in matters that should be the personal responsibility of the individual. This has lead to weakening of our society. The Government is determined to make people rely on their own resources and stand on their own two feet. This can only be done by removing the state as completely as possible from their lives. It should not be the job of Government to protect women from criminal acts. pcmanners
  • Score: -8

8:30pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Cooperlane2 says...

I thought there was a known convicted rapist working as a taxi cab driver in Bradford anyway?
I thought there was a known convicted rapist working as a taxi cab driver in Bradford anyway? Cooperlane2
  • Score: 8

10:05pm Sun 22 Jun 14

micela22 says...

Bradford is saturated with private hire cars, they generally don`t appear to have bases. They crawl around on 30mph roads at 15mph until they get a call for a fare & then they speed up breaking speed limits & other highway code rules. Unless of course they`re cruising around Little Horton Lane / great Horton Road along with the collectors for the Syrian appeal
Bradford is saturated with private hire cars, they generally don`t appear to have bases. They crawl around on 30mph roads at 15mph until they get a call for a fare & then they speed up breaking speed limits & other highway code rules. Unless of course they`re cruising around Little Horton Lane / great Horton Road along with the collectors for the Syrian appeal micela22
  • Score: 4

3:18am Mon 23 Jun 14

Raj2121 says...

Nobody else apart from a badge holder should be able to drive a private hire taxi or hackney carriage with the taxi plate on or off, the taxi should be registered as a tixi on the logbook, like a disabled driver has the class of the vehicle changed from plg to disabled, i was on a night out and got in to what i thought was a taxi turned out to be a ex taxi and some young lad making a few quid well we got a free ride home uninsured.. We interogated him on our journey and revealed he had no badge and it was his brothers car. We did report him for the ladies sake...
Nobody else apart from a badge holder should be able to drive a private hire taxi or hackney carriage with the taxi plate on or off, the taxi should be registered as a tixi on the logbook, like a disabled driver has the class of the vehicle changed from plg to disabled, i was on a night out and got in to what i thought was a taxi turned out to be a ex taxi and some young lad making a few quid well we got a free ride home uninsured.. We interogated him on our journey and revealed he had no badge and it was his brothers car. We did report him for the ladies sake... Raj2121
  • Score: 7

7:36am Mon 23 Jun 14

RED65 says...

When my car is off road for a mot i walk to work,i will not pay outrageous prices these taxi's charge and buses are not far behind with their prices.If your a lady and are worried you should invest into one of those small scooter bikes they are cheap as chips to run and tax, then no need to worry about being sexually abused by taxi man just ride your bike with care when nearing a taxi as they are know for bad driving not giving a **** about other motorists or the highway code the only law they know is highway robbery.
When my car is off road for a mot i walk to work,i will not pay outrageous prices these taxi's charge and buses are not far behind with their prices.If your a lady and are worried you should invest into one of those small scooter bikes they are cheap as chips to run and tax, then no need to worry about being sexually abused by taxi man just ride your bike with care when nearing a taxi as they are know for bad driving not giving a **** about other motorists or the highway code the only law they know is highway robbery. RED65
  • Score: 7

7:48am Mon 23 Jun 14

collos25 says...

pcmanners wrote:
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
What an idiot.
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.[/p][/quote]What an idiot. collos25
  • Score: 10

8:57am Mon 23 Jun 14

Here today says...

Cooperlane2 wrote:
I thought there was a known convicted rapist working as a taxi cab driver in Bradford anyway?
I thought a conviction was a requirement for the job, that along with stale trainers and faux friendliness.
[quote][p][bold]Cooperlane2[/bold] wrote: I thought there was a known convicted rapist working as a taxi cab driver in Bradford anyway?[/p][/quote]I thought a conviction was a requirement for the job, that along with stale trainers and faux friendliness. Here today
  • Score: 4

9:45am Mon 23 Jun 14

Joedavid says...

I use Arrow Cars and get very good service book and pay over the internet, always a good comfortable well driven CAR, get a Taxi and I get an uncomfortable ride in a white van conversion .
Looking forward to being able to use private cars as a taxi.
I use Arrow Cars and get very good service book and pay over the internet, always a good comfortable well driven CAR, get a Taxi and I get an uncomfortable ride in a white van conversion . Looking forward to being able to use private cars as a taxi. Joedavid
  • Score: -4

10:56am Mon 23 Jun 14

allinittogether says...

collos25 wrote:
pcmanners wrote:
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
What an idiot.
An idiotic troll
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.[/p][/quote]What an idiot.[/p][/quote]An idiotic troll allinittogether
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Andy2010 says...

Cooperlane2 wrote:
Uber...
I used Uber for the second time recently in London after trialing it in Amsterdam. Very very good service and the sooner its introduced in other towns the better.
[quote][p][bold]Cooperlane2[/bold] wrote: Uber...[/p][/quote]I used Uber for the second time recently in London after trialing it in Amsterdam. Very very good service and the sooner its introduced in other towns the better. Andy2010
  • Score: 2

3:15pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Tony Balony says...

pcmanners wrote:
Tinybantam wrote:
Tinybantam wrote:
pcmanners wrote:
This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers.

Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.
Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.
Sorry I should have said,"robbed or raped whilst travelling in a taxi, riven by someone posing as a taxi driver"..........
The Government simply wants people to be in control of their own lives.

Decades of socialism have given rise to the mistaken expectation that it is acceptable for the state to interfere in matters that should be the personal responsibility of the individual. This has lead to weakening of our society.

The Government is determined to make people rely on their own resources and stand on their own two feet. This can only be done by removing the state as completely as possible from their lives. It should not be the job of Government to protect women from criminal acts.
Are you for real? Do you proof read your posts? It is most definitely the job of the government to protect ALL people from criminal acts. Unbelievable!
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tinybantam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tinybantam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: This is an important Government reform aimed at establishing a free market in vehicle hire. People are perfectly free to choose what kind of taxi they ride in. Nobody is forcing them to ride with unlicensed drivers. Licensing taxi drivers is typical of socialist red tape and the nanny state. If you are old enough to hire a taxi then you are old enough to be responsible for your own safety.[/p][/quote]Would you still be saying that if a female relative of yours had been robbed or raped, whilst posing as a taxi driver? The rules should stay as they are and the Hackney Carriage Enforcement people should step up their checks on drivers and vehicles. Safety of passengers is more important than anything else, and to ensure safety a Private Hire vehicle should always be booked through a Taxi office, to ensure legitimacy.[/p][/quote]Sorry I should have said,"robbed or raped whilst travelling in a taxi, riven by someone posing as a taxi driver"..........[/p][/quote]The Government simply wants people to be in control of their own lives. Decades of socialism have given rise to the mistaken expectation that it is acceptable for the state to interfere in matters that should be the personal responsibility of the individual. This has lead to weakening of our society. The Government is determined to make people rely on their own resources and stand on their own two feet. This can only be done by removing the state as completely as possible from their lives. It should not be the job of Government to protect women from criminal acts.[/p][/quote]Are you for real? Do you proof read your posts? It is most definitely the job of the government to protect ALL people from criminal acts. Unbelievable! Tony Balony
  • Score: -1

1:52pm Tue 24 Jun 14

justice333@hotmail.co.uk says...

Peter Booth being part of the Private Hire enforcement for nearly 30 years is judge, jury and hangman in one. This individual and his side kick Gill have been a scourge, blighting the lives of the Private Hire, even though there are times when the badge holder has been innocent. The Private Hire Association should unite and govern in unity by removing these despots and be the regulators on their own destiny. Gill and Booth have made enforcement their life’s mission. How dare he mention that private hire employee sign on at the job centre. The rigorous tests performed on Private Hire vehicles are beyond the expected MOT standards. I think the time is right to remove the monopoly on Bradford Councils hold on Private Hire, so that they are also forced to find alternative employment. With cut backs in Councils throughout the UK it seems an evitable conclusion.
Peter Booth being part of the Private Hire enforcement for nearly 30 years is judge, jury and hangman in one. This individual and his side kick Gill have been a scourge, blighting the lives of the Private Hire, even though there are times when the badge holder has been innocent. The Private Hire Association should unite and govern in unity by removing these despots and be the regulators on their own destiny. Gill and Booth have made enforcement their life’s mission. How dare he mention that private hire employee sign on at the job centre. The rigorous tests performed on Private Hire vehicles are beyond the expected MOT standards. I think the time is right to remove the monopoly on Bradford Councils hold on Private Hire, so that they are also forced to find alternative employment. With cut backs in Councils throughout the UK it seems an evitable conclusion. justice333@hotmail.co.uk
  • Score: 0

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