Report to tackle taxi hire rules

There must be an "urgent and wholesale reform" to clarify where taxis and minicabs are permitted to operate, a report by MPs has said.

The House of Commons Transport Committee report called for new legislation to tackle the issue of taxis or minicabs working outside the areas for which they are licensed.

It said that "cross-border hire" could be dealt with by giving licensing authorities the power to ensure that drivers can only operate within a district.

It also added that drivers from outside their district who sought work or worked in the area for a specified period without a licence to do so, should be given fixed penalty notices by local councils.

Private hire drivers may consider consulting ajourney planner in order to avoid operating in an area they are not licensed to do so.

The issues raised will be looked into by the Law Commission at the request of the Government.

While launching the report the committee's chairman Louise Ellman MP said: "The rules for taxis date back to 1847 and for minicabs to 1976.

"The age of this legislation and the complexity of case law accumulated in this area makes the need to overhaul the law on these matters irresistible."

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