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DETR ANNOUNCES LONDON MINICAB SAFETY CONSULTATION

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Safer minicabs in London has come a step closer with the ...
Safer minicabs in London has come a step closer with the

announcement by transport minister Glenda Jackson that the DETR and

Public Carriage Office have started the process by seeking the views

of all those interested in minicab regulation on the proposed rules

for minicab operators. This will be followed by separate

consultations on minicab drivers and vehicles.

Ms Jackson announced the consultation process in response to a

parliamentary question:

'For far too long users of London minicabs have not had the security

which a proper regulation system provides, and which people outside

London have been able to count on for many years.

'The vast majority of London minicab operators do a good, safe,

reliable job. But we must make sure that that is true for all of the

trade. Minicabs have an important role to play in London's transport

system. Everybody who uses them - old and young; men and women;

people wanting to get home from a pub or club late at night, or

carrying heavy shopping from the supermarket during the day - deserve

the reassurance that effective regulation brings.

'The consultation we have announced today seeks views on the proposed

new rules for minicab regulation and how we will work with the Public

Carriage Office to ensure that they are implemented. I believe our

proposals strike a sensible balance between ensuring personal

security without placing too great a burden on small businesses.'

NOTES

1. The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 provides for the

regulation of London's minicab operators, drivers and vehicles.

Under the Act, the Secretary of State is the licensing authority, but

this function will be delegated to an Assistant Commissioner of the

Metropolitan Police with the day-to-day licensing function undertaken

by the Public Carriage Office (PCO). This is the same arrangement as

for London's taxis. The Mayor and Transport for London will take on

the responsibility when the PCO transfers to Transport for London on

the creation of the Greater London Authority.

2. The implementation of the Act's requirements is being phased,

starting with the licensing of minicab operators. The consultation

paper sets out detailed proposals for regulations to be made under

the Act, and for administrative procedures to be adopted by the PCO.

Following the consultation, ministers will consider the comments

received. They intend to undertake a further short consultation

before making a further announcement on the implementation of minicab

operator licensing. This will include details of when applicants may

apply to the PCO to be licensed as minicab operators.

3. The closing date for responses to the consultation is 21 July

1999. Copies of the consultation paper may be obtained from Mike

Harding at the PCO, tel: 0171 230 1937.

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