Did you know that..........?
All our drivers are licensed, regulated and CRB checked by Southampton City Council, with the majority also holding NVQ and BTEC qualifications in transporting passengers by taxi.
For your security, nearly all Southampton Hackney Carriages have CCTV cameras installed. All vehicles are MOT checked every year (compliance test) to ensure they are roadworthy. If a vehicle is more than 2 years old it also has to have an additional roadworthy test. To ensure passenger safety Taxis are retired after 9 to 12 years depending on the vehicle type.
With many retailers, reatuarants, hairdressers and beauty salons now being open, a number of initiatives have been implemented to ensure Southampton city centre is a safe, comfortable place to visit. The city might look a little different but it's still the same at heart...
Read More Here
Southampton Hackney and Private Hire drivers have been asked to complete a questionnaire which centres around the July 2020 Department for Transport document titled, Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards.
You can complete it here
Southampton taxi and private hire drivers are now entering a three month consultation process with Southampton City Council (SCC) on approving the July 2020 document Department for Transport (DfT) Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles Standards. Members are concerned that under the title, Motoring Convictions, the word 'multiple' is used when referring to drivers penalty points. Included within the councils' consultation but nothing to do with DfT.
View it here
On another subject but to do with the consultation - licensing has brought up the topic of drivers working hours. This is nothing to do with the Uber Supreme Court Hearing, as you might remember, that was referenced by drivers working for Uber through the smart phone app? The drivers hours that SCC are talking about will effect hackney carriage and private hire drivers who do not work for any taxi company or on an app. These are individual drivers who source their own jobs.
Yet another government document was released. How many rules and regulations do we have to contend with?
View it here
Our association is affiliated to the National Private Hire Taxi Association (NPHTA) and in conjunction with the PHTM an online monthly magazine is produced.
As you know our Judicial Review challenge against TfL’s Bishopsgate closure The A10 Order and the wider, far-reaching Streetspace scheme was heard at the High Court via a video link on November 25th and 26th 2020 in front of Mrs. Justice Lang DBE.
We put forward a very strong case against these two schemes and they were superbly argued by our legal team; David Matthias QC and Charles Streeten Barrister. The judgment has just been handed down and we are thrilled to be able to tell you that UTAG & The LTDA won both challenges and won convincingly.
Our team challenged The Mayor and Transport for London’s A10 Order and the Streetspace Plan & Guidance on 5 grounds.
- They were made without regard to the legal status of Hackney Carriages and the vital role they play in providing accessible public transport for those with mobility impairments.
- They failed to have proper regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty, pursuant to Sec 149 of the Equalities Act 2010.
- They resulted in disproportionate interference with the rights of HC drivers and other industry stakeholders.
- They breached a legitimate expectation of HC drivers that they will be able to pass and repass and Ply for Hire along carriageways used by London buses.
- They were seriously flawed
We won Grounds 1,2,4 and 5. We lost Ground 3 although by the very narrowest of margins and since we only needed to win one of the grounds in order to win the case that is of no practical consequence.
In her judgment, Mrs.Justice Lang confirmed that Taxis and Buses are the only two forms of public transport that are allowed to Ply for Hire; it’s important to note that she agreed we are public transport. We have said this for years and it's now been confirmed by a senior High Court Judge which vindicates the message ‘Where Buses Go Taxis Go.’
In light of this outstanding victory, Mrs. Justice Lang has ordered that
- The A10 Order (Bishopsgate Bus Corridor) is quashed
- The Streetspace Plan is quashed
- The Streetspace Guidance is quashed
- That the defendants pay the claimants' costs.
(The amount of costs has yet to be decided)
- Mrs Justice Lang REFUSED TfL Leave To Appeal but allowed a Stay of 21 days
To win the most important legal challenge the trade has ever mounted so convincingly is an outstanding victory and should not be underestimated.
David Matthias QC leading counsel for the Claimants said:
“This judgment is of major importance not only to London’s iconic black cab trade but also to all people living, working or visiting London who are unable to walk significant distances or to cycle. In the course of her long and careful judgment Mrs Justice Lang has vindicated all the concerns raised by the taxi trade, both on their own account and on account of the disabled, the elderly and all other people prejudiced by the Streetspace Plan and its impacts throughout the capital. The taxi trade may feel justly proud that it has taken the Mayor and TfL to task in this matter and secured a seminal judgment which should guide the approach to be taken by local authorities to all future road schemes both in London and elsewhere in the country.”
However, without your support, trust, and financial backing, this challenge would not have been possible and although the trade as a whole will benefit, the real thanks go to you and the victory is yours.
We should also like to publicly thank the LTDA for backing us and coming as a joint claimant. They have been a pleasure to work with and their input has been invaluable. Like UTAG, they knew these closures would not be temporary but merely a precursor to further wide-ranging access restrictions for taxis and agreed we must act jointly to stop the Mayor and TfL from causing more harm to our trade and inconvenience to our passengers, especially the disabled.
We must also thank our outstanding legal team; David Matthias QC, Charles Streeten Barrister, Darren Rogers Instructing Solicitor and last but not least Martin Low Expert Witness for providing vital evidence to The High Court.
We shall of course keep you updated as things progress, and our legal team seeks remedies from TfL; in other words, to allow us full access to these roads without delay.
United Trade Action Group
Although it is vitally important for everyone to receive the vaccination, taxi and private hire drivers are still legally working under government guidelines providing a vital service.
Happy Christmas and May 2021 Bring Good Health and Happiness to us all.
Drivers, Proprietors and Operators, please distribute:
Brexit – EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
As most of you will be aware the Brexit transition period ends this year on 31 December 2020. This means that from 1 January 2021, the UK will have a new points-based immigration system that will impact how we are able to grant licenses.
If you are an EU citizen you must apply to theEU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), before 30 June 2021, if you want to continue living and working in the UK. See below:
Southampton City Council value all our licensed drivers and we want our EU drivers to remain working in the city.
Please act now. It’s free to apply and the scheme protects the rights of EU citizens, including access to healthcare, benefits and pensions.
For more information the Southampton City Council section on our website covers a range of topics, including where to get help with the EUSS. See below:
If you have any concerns or questions about how Brexit will impact your licence with Southampton City Council, please email the taxi licensing team at licensing@Southampton.gov.uk
As the transition date is fast approaching, please don’t delay and act NOW.