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New Bill is Welcome News

The LGA (Local Government Association) welcomes a new Bill which would make it mandatory for licensing authorities to access vital background information about drivers seeking a licence in their areas. This will support the work of councils to ensure anyone using a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV) is kept safe.

This bill has had a second reading in the House of Lords.  However, it has not been finalised as yet.

Read more here.

Posted in News by Admin on 24/03/2022

Medicals

At long last due to the problem of not being able to have a medical carried out by your own doctor, licensing have approved the providers as shown. The SHPHA can comment on D4Drivers the company our association approved and after having discussions with their sales director, myself as chairman of the SHPHA had a medical last year for a price of £55 including VAT, but choose yourself as SCC licensing has recommended.

See below email from Southampton City Council Licensing Department.

Back in September 2021 at a Licensing Committee Hearing we changed the medical policy to allow approved medical practitioners to undertake medicals without referral as well as the drivers own General Practitioner. You will be pleased to know we have completed the procurement process we were obliged to undertake and have three approved medical practitioners.

Drivers will now be able to choose if they wish to have their medical undertaken at their own surgery as before or by using one of the approved providers. Drivers should note that the providers will insist that drivers bring their medical summary along to their appointment. This is obtainable free of charge from their GP surgeries.

The approved list is below:

Approved Medical Providers

D4Drivers (Rymans Ltd)

www.d4drivers.uk/

0300 3030 668

Townhill Surgery*

www.townhillsurgery.nhs.uk

023 8047 2232

Regency Medical - Portsmouth (Medique Limited)

www.regencymedical.co.uk

0203 734 3629

*Town Hill Surgery is proposing to undergo a rebranding and the name may change in the near future.

Posted in News by Admin on 07/03/2022

Taxi Fuel Costs

Here's an interesting read about how maths shows BIG SAVINGS remain between EV and diesel cabs despsite energy increases.

Read the full article here




Well Done TaxiPoint from us!
 

Posted in News by Admin on 24/02/2022

Love is in the air!

It's nearly Valentine's Day! Perhaps a very special person would like to go out?

 

For all you romantic's who are planning to propose(?)  Remember to look at our website!

 

www.southamptontaxis.org

 

 

Posted in News by Admin on 09/02/2022

Removable Door Sticker Concern

On the 20th August 2020 at a trade licensing council meeting, the subject of Southampton private hire drivers being allowed to work for two or more operators was brought to the consultation table. 

As chairman of the Southampton Hackney and Private Hire Association (SHPHA) www.southamptontaxis.org our hackney carriage members were concerned with the proposal of names being removed from private hire vehicles on the grounds of public safety.

 

 

It would appear that some UK authorities have relaxed the ruling of private hire door stickers displaying the name of the operators or a company, to allow private hire drivers to work for predominantly app based companies, the door sign would have no name at all apart from the identification plate number at the rear of the vehicle and the area it is licensed from.

Myself and fellow colleagues some time ago campaigned with Southampton licensing councillors and licensing officers with advice from the police to have door signs with appropriate company names which eventually became part of our licensing conditions.  Unscrupulous drivers in the past, had used magnetic door signs, removing them when doing different jobs which resulted in incidents occurring with female customers.

Under the heading, Identification, the Southampton City Council (SCC) Private Hire Vehicle Licence Policy and Conditions 2021, clearly state paragraph 8.6, magnetic signs will not be permitted and paragraph 8.7 state, the name of the operator and their telephone number or domain name shall appear in bold clearly legible lettering.

We can all agree passengers safety is of paramount importance, with private hire drivers working from multiple apps, can proper records be kept?  How does a licensing authority know which driver and vehicle are working for whom?  Whose operators' licence are they working under, if they do not have their own and could this have an effect on vehicle insurance?

In 2019 at the Private Hire and Taxi Exhibition in Milton Keynes, I was introduced to Desmond Broster,  Desmond is the National Director for Safeguarding and Licensing with the VEEZU group, the UK's leading multi-region taxi and private hire company.  Desmond is also the National Safeguarding & Policy Officer for the National Association of Licensing and Enforcement Officers (NALEO) and previously Head of Taxi & Private Hire Licensing with Leeds City Council for 15 years.

Des has been a strong campaigner for all issues around public safety and door signage for  private hire door vehicles was a key issue for him and he felt it essential that existing conditions remain in place and for the required names of companies/operators to be clearly visible to customers and the general public.  He contacted me some weeks ago and after meeting him, he highlighted his concerns and arranged to visit Southampton to meet with SCC licensing manager Mr Phil Bates.

Des also discussed the door sign subject at a meeting with Joseph Jones director of Door2Door cars and Simon May CEO of Radio Taxis.  Both gentlemen on behalf of their companies want company names to remain on the two front doors.

On the 3rd November 2021, the trade council meeting took place resulting in councillors voting for door signs to remain.  We all took part in presenting our deliberations to the councillors present.  The excellent submission from Des and his colleague Kirsty Oram, was enthralling to listen to, but extremely alarming.

Let us make sure that whilst we rebuild our economy, private hire door signs clearly displaying operator and company names remain where they should be on the doors of a licensed vehicle, otherwise you will have unidentified private hire vehicles working for many different app based companies which will result in the more profitable job accepted ahead of the one the driver had already committed to. The consequence of that is that some vulnerable person is left without transport time and again – people miss hospital appointments – the pressure from the big foreign App companies to remove door signage is all about their profit margins and price surging and nothing at all to do with the principles of the legislation – Public Safety.   There will be serious incidents occurring with these unidentifiable vehicles and Operators and only then will some licensing authorities start to rush to do the right thing – just as they did with Rotherham – and exactly why Leeds City Council introduced permanent stickers 20 years ago.

Posted in News by Admin on 22/11/2021

‘Try-Before-You-Buy’ Green Taxi Launched by Cardiff Capital Region and Welsh Government

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has launched a Green Taxi ‘Try before you buy’ pilot in partnership with Welsh Government.

 

 

The scheme was launched by Cllr Huw David at the South East Wales Clean Transport event scheduled as part of the Cop Cymru programme running in parallel with COP26 in a series of roadshows across Wales with the CCR concentrating on the theme of clean transport. Bookings commence on the 10th of November 2021 with cars being released from 1st December. Cardiff Capital Region will be one of the first UK city regions to take part in a trial of this kind.

 

Read the full article here

Posted in News by Admin on 11/11/2021

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