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Opposition to Abolishing the Taxi Cap in Southampton



On the 23rd August 12 the Law Commission held a meeting at the Union House in Southampton. The Unite Union, Southampton Hackney Association, taxi drivers and Southampton Trade Association were in attendance to put pressure on the Law Commision over it’s proposals to abolish the limits on the number of taxis registered for trade in the city, and the idea of removing restrictions of cross border private hire.

As we have previously reported, The Law Commission is consulting on the proposals to strip down regulations, give more clarity to the current laws, improve local licensing rules enforcement and open the taxi trade up to more competition.

Union representatives fear that the proposals could ‘destroy’ the taxi trade. Perry McMillan, chairman of Unite’s cab section in Southampton, said the idea of removing the limit on the number of taxis set by local councils was the most ‘controversial proposal’, he went on to say ‘our concern is it would be creating jobs not work’.

After an independent survey revealed there was no ‘unmet demand’ for more taxis, Southampton taxi drivers with the backing of the Unite Union recently convinced councillors to keep the number of hail and ride taxis in the city capped at 283, saying that a higher number would ruin their livelihoods.

Lawyers working on behalf of the Law Commission told taxi drivers that the review was not politically driven, and that the Government could reject the proposals it puts forward next year.  The idea of allowing private hire vehicles to use the word ‘taxi’ were unlikely to be put forward they stated. Discussions will run until September 10th.

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