Members from the Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association are looking forward to attending the Private Hire and Taxi Monthly Exhibition in Milton Keynes next month.
PHTM is the UK's leading trade newspaper for the private hire and Hackney Carriage industry. The publication features editorials on all aspects of the taxi industry. Their yearly exhibition, which started in 1999, is the only national private hire and taxi exhibition in the UK.
This year's event will feature 65 exhibitors, 35 trade vehicles, driver and operator workshops along with Q&A forums on topics concerning the trade. Attending the expo is a great way to keep up to date with our evolving trade.
Taxi and private hire trade representatives had a meeting with the Deputy Leader of Southampton City Council (SCC) on the 25th April 2019 regarding how to improve Southampton train station (downside) to meet customers approval.
A company called WSP (Williams Sale Partnership) were in attendance, who will be undertaking the transportation, infrastructure and environmental issues connected with this project. WSP was established in 1969 and is now regarded as one of the largest professional services firms in the world.
The overall aim is to create more space for customers using Southampton train service and it will be a re-development of the station forecourt and surrounding area to cater amongst many things, the increase in passengers for Southampton's ABP's cruise terminals.
The end product should see more spaces for the parking of taxis and in June/July of 2019 the council will put in a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding.
Last week, Ian Hall, Chairman of the Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association was invited to attend a meeting at the Department for Transport. This was the third meeting he has attended in London over the past 12 months together with trade representatives and government officials.
Southampton is one of the five cities targeted by the government to improve air quality. This week’s meeting covered the progress made so far on the clean air programme, through a series of slides which you view by following the link below. They were also informed on the latest progress on the Task and Finish group reference taxi and private hire vehicle licensing.
Please follow the link below for more details of the meeting:
On Tuesday, the United Trade Action Group (UTAG) lost their legal challenge that proposed Uber's London operating licence, a 15 month probationary permit that was given in June, was granted by a biased judge.
The temporary license was granted by Chief Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, who stepped down from Uber-related cases in August when it was discovered that her husband was an advisor to an investment company who had shares in Uber.
Lawyers acknowleged she was not aware of the link but claimed she should have 'checked for any potential conflicts of interest.'
The claims were rejected in the High Court with Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett commenting the connections suggested by them fell 'well short of evidence.'
We are disappointed that the United Trade Action Group (UTAG) lost this case. This was going to be a difficult fight to challenge the establishment in the High Court. The London taxi trade is still the number one taxi service in the world, we can only offer words of support to UTAG from our association.
Online scams aimed at motorists are on the increase with a shocking 1275 reports to the DVLA regarding suspected vehicle tax scams in a three month period last year. Action Fraud say:
"We know that fraudsters are increasingly using more sophisticated ways to trick their victims, and so it is important that members of the public think about their online behaviour and ensure that they do everything they can to protect themselves."
Some of the most common scams that affect motorists online are:
- Text messages, claiming to be from the DVLA, asking for credit card details.
- Websites which enable you to apply for vehicle tax or driving licences and then add on an extra fee.
- Identity theft through the sharing of driving licences or car documents on social media.
- Websites offering telephone connection to DVLA contact centre through a premium rate number.
Earlier in the week, on Safer Internet Day, the DVLA published 7 tips for motorists to stay safe online - why not take a read here?
Did you know that the five cities targeted by Defra (Department of Environmental and Rural Affairs) for Clean Air Zones in the UK are Southampton, Derby, Nottingham, Leeds and Birmingham, and that Southampton is the only one of them with a Port?
ABP (Associated British Ports) of Southampton have also published their Clean Air Zone for the Port and are in agreement with Southampton City Council to become involved in the Green City Charter scheme which goes beyond Defra's requirements for clean air.
The taxi and private hire trade welcome the fact that the proposed £12.50 per day charging zone for taxis and private hires will now not take place, although, some of trade's vehicles will have to improve on their emissions.
We as a trade group look forward to working with the council on this matter.
You can read the latest Clean Air Update from Southampton City Council here.
Following the Clean Air Zone public consultation, Southampton City Council have promised '...a leap forward and bold new actions to tackling air pollution..'
Their latest clean air update included details of their proposal which would enable the city to comply to EU limit value for nitrogen dioxide by 2020 without the need for a charging zone.
Work on reducing nitrogen dioxide pollution over the last 3 years which include introducing cleaner city buses, cleaner fuels being used at the port and heavy investment in the cycling infrastructure have already reduced pollution by 24% in the most polluted areas and further measures proposed regarding the port, HGVs buses and taxis hope to increase this figure further.
Proposed measures aimed at taxis include; expanding the current low emission taxi scheme to support more operators, revising taxi licensing conditions to remove the most polluting vehicles and offering a 3 month 'try before you buy' scheme for electric taxis.
You can read the full clean air update from Southampton City Council here.
The Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association would like to wish all our taxi customers a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! When using taxis over the Christmas period, please make sure the vehicle you get into is licensed and for extra peace of mind take a note of the Southampton City Council plate number found on the rear of the vehicle - all Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles will have one displayed.
Please find below a link to the notes from the Taxi and Private Hire Trade Consultation with Southampton City Council which took place last month. This meeting was attended by Ian Hall - Chairman of the Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association who brought up a number of concerns and contributed to the discussion of important issues concerning our trade at the moment.
Please follow the link below for full details of the meeting:
Please find below a press release from Southampton City Council regarding the Clean air in our City:
Southampton City Council and New Forest District Council are working together to submit separate business cases to Government to improve air quality. Over a period of 12 weeks Southampton City Council and New Forest District Council consulted the public and key stakeholders on proposals for a Clean Air Zone. Thank you to all those that took part.
There were 9,299 responses to the consultation including responses to the questionnaire, letters, emails and social media comments. Feedback is now being thoroughly analysed and evaluated by Southampton City Council’s Research and Insight team.
As well as the consultation, Southampton City Council and New Forest District Council have commissioned extensive transport and air quality modelling work from independent consultants to inform a technical assessment that will be an integral part of each council’s clean air business case.
New Forest District Council will submit their business case to Government by 31 December 2018 for approval. Prior to this their business case will be discussed at a meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel on 13 December 2018, and then a decision will be taken at Cabinet on 18 December 2018.
Southampton City Council will submit their business case to Government by 31 January 2019 for approval. Prior to this their business case will be discussed at a meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel on 16 January 2019, and then a decision will be taken at a special Cabinet meeting on 22 January 2019. In order to provide maximum space for stakeholders and interested groups to attend, the special Cabinet meeting will be held in the Southampton Guildhall, rather than the council chamber.
The delay to Southampton City Council’s business case submission has been caused due to the amount of analysis required following the exceptional volume of consultation feedback, changes to baseline data provided through the consultation that has impacted on the air quality modelling, and feedback that has promoted further exploration into social and economic impacts. It is important that all these elements are given the attention they deserve, and this takes time.
Despite the delay to the business case submission it is anticipated that there will be no impact on the delivery of compliance by 2020. The focus continues to be on the delivery of legal limits of nitrogen dioxide within Southampton in the shortest possible time.
Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member - Green City, Southampton City Council said:
“Clean air is vital to the health and wellbeing of people in the Southampton and the New Forest, and the huge response to the consultation shows the strength of feeling. Our shared priority is to reduce dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide to within legal limits in the shortest time possible. I’d like to thank local residents and organisations for taking the time to share their thoughts and ideas. The consultation feedback, in conjunction with the technical assessment results, will jointly inform the business case we submit.”
Southampton City Council and New Forest District Council continue to work together and the consultation results will be released on 3 December 2018 on the council’s websites in advance of both Cabinet meetings.