Documents to download

The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill 2021-22 is a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Peter Gibson, Conservative MP for Darlington, who came ninth in the ballot for Commons Private Member Bills for the 2021-2022 session. The Bill passed Committee stage without amendment on 3 November and the remaining Commons stages of this Bill are scheduled to be debated on 21 January 2022. The explanatory notes for the Bill were drafted by the Department for Transport. The Bill would have practical effect only in England.

In substance, the Bill is essentially the same as the Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill, which was also a Private Members’ Ballot Bill sponsored by Daniel Zeichner MP in the 2017-19 Parliament. That Bill did not progress beyond second reading.

Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing

In England and Wales, taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licences are issued by local authorities under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 (as amended by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976). Local authorities are ‘licensing authorities’ for taxis and PHV licences, except in London where TfL is the licensing authority.

In granting a taxi driver’s licence is required to satisfy itself that the applicant is a ‘fit and proper’ person. A number of licensing authorities across England have adopted conditions of fitness and only allow drivers and vehicles that meet them to be licensed in their areas. Further, while there is no statutory requirement for licensing authorities to carry out a criminal record check before issuing a licence, most authorities do.

What does the Bill do?

This Bill seeks to improve the safety of taxi passengers. The problem the Bill seeks to resolve is one of where licensing authorities might revoke the licences of drivers for wrongdoing, only for the driver to obtain a licence from another authority, and then be able to continue working, potentially in the former licensing authority area.

It aims to address this problem in two ways. First, it would mandate local licensing authorities to record taxi licence refusals, revocations and suspensions on a national database, which other local licensing authorities would be required to consult before making licence decisions about the same driver. This would create a statutory footing for the ‘National Register of Taxi and Private Hire Licence Revocations and Refusals’ (NR3), which was commissioned by the Local Government Association and introduced July 2018, and is already used by many licensing authorities on a voluntary basis.

Second, it would allow local authority enforcement teams to report instances of wrongdoing by taxi drivers to the authority in which the offender is licensed. The licensing authority must then have regard to such a report and respond to it.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Vehicles and driving FAQs

    This briefing paper answers various Frequently Asked Questions constituents often raise with MPs about vehicles and driving. It provides general information relating to these FAQs and signposts to more detailed sources of information and advice.

    Vehicles and driving FAQs