Licensing of private hire vehicles

Meeting: 
MQT on 2016-10-19
Session date: 
October 19, 2016
Reference: 
2016/3551
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

A constituent has asked  with TfL licensing private hire vehicles outside the capital what is the purpose of a Topographical Knowledge test of London? Will TfL also insist that London private hire operators only despatch trips to London private hire vehicles and TfL licensed drivers that are operating within the Metropolitan Police District (or Greater London area)?

Answer

Answer for Licensing of private hire vehicles

Answer for Licensing of private hire vehicles

Answered By: 
The Mayor

As it currently stands, as long as a private hire operator, driver and vehicle delivering a journey are all licensed by the same licensing authority and a booking is accepted in the area of that authority, a private hire journey can start or end anywhere in England and Wales without constraint.

TfL currently has no power to stop London licensed drivers from undertaking bookings in another licensing authority, providing these conditions are met.

Crucially, the same also applies for drivers that have been licensed by another authority working in London. As I seek to raise standards across the private hire industry in London, it is vital that our efforts are not undermined by taxis or private hire vehicles working in London without having to adhere to our stringent licensing requirements.

That is why I am seeking urgent powers to introduce a requirement that all taxi and private hire journeys should either start or end in the area for which the vehicle, driver and operator is licensed.

TfL and I will be lobbying Government for additional powers and I would be grateful for your support on this important matter.