Taxi Changes Aim To Bring About Improved Public Safety
Councillors David Elms, Dennis Paul and Keith Witham welcome Government consultation on tightening taxi regulations to improve public safety and support the Guildford's taxi trade. Local taxi operators have an excellent reputation built on public trust and Guildford Borough Council's effective licensing record.
To date Conservative led Guildford Borough Council have introduced a series of measures to improve public safety and local licensing standards in partnership with local operators. For example:
- Compulsory BTEC qualification training for all taxi operators
- Stringent annual checks on license holders
- Teal coloured vehicle livery so the public can recognize locally regulated taxi operators
- From April 1st 2019 all licenced taxis will offer card payment facilities reducing cash handling risks
But there are still loopholes in the localised regulatory system. For example, the Council has no jurisdiction over taxis licensed elsewhere but operating in Guildford. This affects local trade and also poses a risk to the public where such incursions are unregulated locally.
The Government is currently undertaking national consultation to:
- Introduce national minimum standards for licensing activity to bring all authorities into line with best practice
- Allow licensing officers to carry out enforcement & compliance checks against vehicles regardless of where they have been licensed
- Form a National Database to share data between authorities to ensure those in the trade are fit and proper
These changes are intended to crack down on rogue traders and improve public safety.
If you would like to find out more about the consultation and have your say, please follow the link below.
Councillors David Elms and Dennis Paul are Chair and Vice Chair of the Licensing Committee of Guildford Borough Council respectively.