After new information was recently released, brand new Statutory Private Hire and taxi Vehicle Standards have been introduced and are likely to cost drivers an extra £62.24 per year, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).
With the new Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards released last year, local authorities will be expected to implement these new rules which were designed to improve consistency across the board in the licensing system, with the aim of further reducing the risk of harm posed to children, the elderly and those generally considered as vulnerable passengers in the process.
Regular criminal record checks for drivers every 6 months will form a crucial aspect of the standards, as does ongoing safeguarding training to help drivers to correctly identify and respond to any passengers that may perhaps be being abused or even exploited. A n additional recommendation for licensing authorities to consider is whether to utilise the use of CCTV as this is generally considered to be beneficial or at the least proportionate in their areas is also to be included. This sets out that any potential privacy issues must also be taken into account in the future.
Mike Amesbury, local MP for Labour in Weaver Vale, asked Mr. Grant Shapps through a written question: “Can you tell me what assessment your Department has made of the need to ease the potential additional financial burden being pushed on the private hire and taxi industry, resulting from these new industry standards.”
Rachel Maclean, DfT Minister, quickly responded, stating: “A full and detailed impact assessment was published alongside that of the Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards back in July 2020.
“This report discovered that if the total cost of the Standards was passed on to taxi drivers, the proposed cost increase would be £62.24 for each taxi driver per year. This price would technically be the same as a 3 pence increase per passenger fare.”