Cambridge MP says councils should be able to ban Uber too
PUBLISHED: 13:02 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:39 22 September 2017
His comment comes after Transport for London announces that it will not renew the taxi app’s license.
Daniel Zeichner MP is calling for new laws to help local authorities regulate taxis and private hire vehicles.
His call for the government to take proper responsibilities over taxi licensing laws comes after Transport for London has refused to relicense Uber in London after their current license expires next week.
Mr Zeichner warns that just because Uber will no longer be licensed in London, it does not mean than they will be unable to continue working there.
He said: “The government has known for a long time that it needs to sort out taxi and private hire licensing, but has just dug its heels in and refused to act or make these tough decisions.
“It’s time for them to act, to protect authorities like TfL who are responsible for the safety of those using transport, but who don’t have the power to actually kick out bad working practices. At the moment, they are risking TfL being exposed to 30,000 or 40,000 drivers licensed elsewhere but working in London.
“I hope that my Private Members‘ Bill, entitled the Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill, will go some way to improving the industry’s safety standards, but it’s clear that they government really need to act and provide a joined-up, coherent re-vamp of the rules. Some of the current laws date back to the Victorian times! I hope the government will support my Bill in February, but I also hope that this kind of brave move by TfL will push them into taking some sensible action.“
Due to laws Mr Zeichner says are outdated, Local Authorities can only enforce against drivers that they license. This means that if Uber drivers were to obtain licenses from near-by authorities, and decided to carry on working in London despite being registered elsewhere, it would be hard for TfL to stop them.
This is known by the industry as cross-border working, and is a practice which many taxi and private hire unions and groups are lobbying against.