Private Hiring License

MQT on 2003-11-19
Session date: 
November 19, 2003
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What steps are you taking to avoid a potential crisis in the Christmas and New Year period with registration delays leading to an insufficient number of available private hire drivers?



Answer for Private Hiring License

Answer for Private Hiring License

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have written to Tony McNulty, Minister for Transport in London, inviting him to amend the regulations, allowing the Public Carriage Office to issue temporary permits to private hire driver applicants who have submitted completed forms and the appropriate fee. Such permits would be valid for up to three months during which time the applicant could act as a private hire driver pending grant or refusal of a full licence following a Criminal Record Bureau check.I see this as achieving a balance between the risks associated with drivers avoiding the licensing process (and, perhaps, becoming touts) and/or there being a shortage of drivers, and of allowing applicants to drive before the full range of checks have been completed. By submitting the required documentation and fee I believe the applicant will have demonstrated a degree of commitment similar to that of existing drivers who have been granted longer term temporary permits under existing provisions.This transitional scheme would last only until 2006 by which time it is expected that the private hire trade will have become better adapted to working within a regulatory framework and the application process will have been streamlined. .