Call to review out of date taxi laws

Blackpool taxis on Bank Hey Street
Blackpool taxis on Bank Hey Street

Blackpool’s licensing chief has welcomed national calls for taxi rules to be updated but says the resort’s cab fleet currently operates without any serious problems.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warns taxi laws need updating to reflect new technology, help reduce the risk of child sexual exploitation and create a level playing field for drivers.

Coun Adrian Hutton, Blackpool Council’s licensing chairman, said the resort would take heed of any recommendations.

Coun Hutton said: “Most of our taxis and private hire vehicles work very well, and where we get individual problems we deal with them.

“But we haven’t got a large number of people breaching the law.

“We have updated some of our own policies in the last few months.

“But once the LGA has looked at the whole issue. we’ll look at their recommendations and if we need to make any changes then we will do.”

The LGA is responding in particular to changes in the way passengers book taxis, with many using phone apps to summon taxis in some parts of the country.

Coun Clive Woodbridge, deputy chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “Councils have long argued that there is a need for the existing outdated taxi laws to be updated.

“The legislation governing aspects of taxis and private hire vehicles pre-dates the motor car and is simply not fit for purpose in an era when mobile phone technology is significantly changing the way people access private hire vehicles.”

Taxi and private hire vehicle legislation is primarily concentrated in the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government Act 1976.