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Law Commission & Deregulation Bill


Deregulation Bill – Second Reading

Deregulation Bill – Second Reading
House of Lords – Debates  
Session 2014-2015
Monday 7 July 2014 14:30 (Afternoon)
Deregulation Bill
3:14 P.M

Deregulation Bill Second Reading Lords Hansard

Law Commission competes taxi and private hire ‘project’


Taxi and Private Hire Services

Publication date: 23 May 2014

On 23 May 2014 we published our report on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles.  Full details are available on the project page (please see below).

Reference number: LC347

This report completes our Taxi and Private Hire Services project.

Government Putting Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Users at Risk!

Responding to the Written Ministerial Correction about the Government’s reforms to taxi and private hire vehicle regulation, Labour’s Shadow Roads Minister Richard Burden MP said:

“Safety charities like the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, unions, councils and trade associations are all warning the Government’s changes to taxi and minicab regulation will threaten safety for passengers. Now we know that the Minister didn’t even have his facts straight about this controversial process. It’s time the Government got a grip and ditched these rushed and risky reforms.”

Richard’s recent blog for Politics Home

A Written Ministerial Statement on the 13 May corrects a comment made by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond MP) in a debate on taxi and private hire regulation:

MINISTERIAL CORRECTION: The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond):

Click here to download and sign the petition against the Governments deregulation bill

Please send your completed petition to: 

Unite Taxi Education
Bute Street
L5 3LA


Latest from the Law Commission

26 March 2014

Status: Our consultation closed on 10 September 2012. We published the responses we received and an interim statement in spring 2013. We will publish our report and draft Bill on 23 May 2014. We had intended to publish at the end of April but are postponing publication until after the sensitive period leading up to the local and European elections on 22 May

We are reviewing the existing framework of taxi and private hire vehicle regulation with a view to preparing recommendations for reform.

Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) are an important part of local transport. They operate in highly regulated markets where safety and quality control are paramount. Licensing covers key areas such as the quality of services, the fitness of drivers, fare regulation and restrictions on the number of licenses issued.

On 9 April 2013, we published the responses we have received to the consultation accompanied by an interim statement. This interim statement outlines the key decisions we have reached following consultation, but before publishing our full final report (including our analysis of responses) and proposed Law Commission draft Bill.  It is not standard practice for the Law Commission to publish its policy recommendations in advance of the final report.  However many stakeholders expressed concern regarding possible changes to taxi and private hire legislation and we appreciate that waiting until the end of the year for our conclusions to be published is a long time.  Our interim statement is not a further consultation, nor is it the analysis of responses we have undertaken, which will instead be published when the final report is ready for publication alongside the proposed Law Commission draft Bill.

We have received over 3000 responses. We are very grateful for the time and effort that stakeholders have put in to respond to our consultation. The responses are accessible on this project page.  We have divided the responses into separate bundles, each with an index.  We have also produced a general index covering all responses.  There are some discrepancies in the numbering of responses, which are the result of duplicate and confidential responses.  In addition to individual responses, we received submissions in response to surveys and online petitions, which sometimes used identical phrasing to our provisional proposals and questions, but at other times were different.  Many stakeholders did not respond to all questions but only commented on particular provisional proposals.  On other occasions stakeholders provided comments that made it difficult to categorise the response as either an agreement or disagreement.  We have tried our best to interpret and process all the responses as accurately as possible.
The project

The project examines the legal framework relating to taxis and PHVs with a view to making it simpler and more modern.  We published a consultation paper with our provisional proposals for reform on 10 May 2012.  This was followed by a four month consultation period where we invited the public to respond to our proposals.  We plan to publish a final report with our recommendations and draft Bill on 23 May 2014.

 Lobby of Parliament 2nd July 2013

Lobby of Parliament Standing room only as members of Unite, GMB, RMT, numerous Associations and User groups, descend on the capitol to lobby MPs to oppose the government’s attempt to destroy the Taxi and private hire industry aided by the Law Commissions Review of legislation. Which for the first time would include London In 2010 The Governmental cross party Transport Select Committee held two inquiries taking oral and written evidence from a large number of trade representatives, Local Authorities, Licensing institutions and user groups from across the industry. This resulted in 14 recommendations being made. One of which was not to hand the review over to the Law Commission, but to engage in consultation with the trade itself through a working party. So here we are in 2013 for a second lobby of Parliament culminating from a National Campaign.

After going through the necessary security checks required to enter the houses of parliament, and those that were fortunate enough to find a space in the committee room. The meeting opened and those present heard numerous MPs (Shadow Minister for transport, Chair of the transport select committee etc 27 in all) and speakers in support of the campaign addressing issues such as passenger safety and disability services. These would be seriously affected if the proposed recommendations (‎) were allowed to become legislation. i.e.; operators no longer being restricted to using drivers in one licensing area (baton passing this was also addressed by the chair of the London Taxi Drivers Club) this would pose numerous nightmare scenarios within licensing authorities if in the event of any complaints being made they would be faced with having to trace a drivers badge or vehicle plate number throughout over 300 authorities. The chairman from the Disability access group from Leeds spoke of the concerns his members had, that the proposed recommendations would impact on the excellent service they received at present, i.e. the lack of accessible vehicles at certain times which would result in some users being left housebound for long periods at certain times.

The Government and many others have spoken about professionalism within the transport industry, but the law commission feel that no training should be undertaken as a Taxi or private hire driver; this leaves the travelling public and drivers in a vulnerable position with regards to health and safety, legislation and disability awareness issues

The government should return to the Transport select committees recommendations and work with the trade to move forward in providing the travelling public with the safe and regulated service they deserve. If you have not signed a petition we would urge you to contact your local MP and ask for their support in opposing this review and the return to The Transport select committee NO SUBMISSION TO THE LAW COMMISSION. (For further information please contact Unite Taxi 5 Bute street Liverpool L5 3LA 0151 207 7522 / 207 7655,)

Unite activists are still  travelling around every town and city in England and Wales, meeting taxi drivers and explaining the Law Commission’s devastating proposals to them.

Unite has organised a petition to MP’s and Parliament asking for the government to scrap
the Law Commission review and replace it with the Transport Select Committee
recommendations. We want as many drivers as possible to sign the petition in as many
licensing areas as possible to ensure that we reach as many MP’s as possible.
If you want to help build the campaign in your area then please contact one of our Unite
activists as shown on the map or contact Cab Trade News,
It is only by YOU getting involved that we can win. So sign the petition, and join Unite.
Stand up now and make a difference.

Visit our Facebook page,

Twitter @cabtradenews or this site for further news and updates

CTN MAY 2013 - 3rd 6

Click here to download and sign the national petition

Once signed please return to:

Peter J Rose

LE/230 Branch

Unite the Union

33-37 Moreland Street,


London, EC1V 8BB

Please mark the envelope, Law Commission

Or you can click here to  email your MP direct (Unite website)

Don’t know who your MP is? Just enter your postcode

Law Commission sets out early thinking on

reforms for the taxi and private hire trades


News release: 9 April 2013

Following an extensive consultation on the regulations governing taxis and mini-cabs (private hire vehicles), the Law Commission has announced, in an interim statement, a change of direction on two key proposals: setting restrictions on local taxi numbers, and licensing for wedding cars.

The Commission initially proposed abolishing the right of licensing authorities to restrict the number of taxis permitted to operate in an area. But it has been convinced that the benefits of change are outweighed by the advantages of continuing to allow restrictions. On the one hand, the Commission accepts that restrictions can have a place in combating congestion and over-ranking, and supporting a viable taxi trade to maintain high standards. On the other, there is no compelling evidence that de-restriction reduces fares or has a significant effect on waiting times. It will also recommend that areas where numbers of taxis are now limited should be able to retain their traditional “plate value” systems. If new areas regulate numbers, however, licenses would not be transferrable, preventing plate values from accruing.

The proposal to bring wedding and funeral cars into the same regulatory framework as mini-cabs has also been revisited, and the Commission will be recommending that they retain their statutory exemption from licensing, rather than relying on the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers to exempt them.

The Commission has restated its commitment to keeping the two-tier system that distinguishes taxis from mini-cabs. It will recommend retaining the local nature of the hackney trade, with only taxis being able to pick up passengers from a rank or on the street (“ply for hire”). Mini-cabs should continue to be restricted to offering a pre-booked service.

Frances Patterson QC, the Law Commissioner leading the project, says: “The legal framework governing the taxi and private hire trades is complex and inconsistent. The purpose of our review is to improve and simplify it, and ensure it is fit for purpose.

“We listened to a great many people during our consultation – drivers, operators, licencing authorities and passengers. They confirmed what we have always believed, that the two-tier system distinguishing taxis and mini-cabs should stay. And they convinced us that the trade and its passengers will benefit if licensing authorities continue to have the power to limit taxi numbers.”

The Commission is half way through its review and expects to make final recommendations for reform to Government at the end of the year. In light of the consultation, which brought in more than 3,000 responses, it has reached a number of other early decisions on what it will recommend, including:

· Applying a national set of standards for mini-cabs.

· Introducing compulsory disability discrimination training for all drivers, and making it a licence condition that drivers should not discriminate against disabled passengers.

The interim statement and responses to the Commission’s consultation can be found on The final report, with a draft Bill, will be published at the end of 2013.

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