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
consultations on minicab drivers and vehicles.
Ms Jackson announced the consultation process in response to a
'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.'
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.