I’ve been campaigning, as a member of the APPG on Taxis, alongside Sheffield City Council and the GMB trade union on cross-border hiring in the taxi trade. For those of you who’ve followed the campaign, I’ve received an update on the working group that’s been established to look at the current licensing rules and recommend ways to fix them.
The group is composed of representatives from a broad range of areas, including representatives of the taxi and PHV industry, licensing authorities, drivers, MPs and passengers. I’ll be feeding into that discussion from the experiences we’ve had in Sheffield Heeley.
I’ve previously challenged the Government over the consequences of their deregulation of licensing, which means drivers can be licensed anywhere in the country before coming back to work in South Yorkshire. Over 700 taxi drivers are operating in Sheffield on licenses from outside the city.
This has meant that drivers can be turned down for licenses in Sheffield, for very good reasons, but continue to operate, which is both a risk to public safety and unfair to drivers who work hard to meet our strong licensing laws. For example, in Sheffield we require taxi drivers to pass more stringent safeguarding tests than other authorities.