The ArgusBrighton taxi drivers step up fight against deregulation (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Brighton taxi drivers step up fight against deregulation

The Argus: Brighton taxi drivers step up fight against deregulation Brighton taxi drivers step up fight against deregulation

Brighton taxi drivers have launched a campaign against the deregulation of the industry, which they claim could put public safety at risk.

Under current licensing regulations, companies can only handle bookings they have taken themselves through their own operators.

But amendments added to a government Bill would allow private hire companies to subcontract work to other operators in another area, and would allow ordinary drivers to drive private hire vehicles when they are “off-duty”.

The taxi companies have requested the help of MP Simon Kirby who confirmed he had written to the minister and was trying to arrange for Brighton and Hove taxi representatives can put their concerns to the transport minister directly.

Andrew Cheeseman, managing director of Brighton and Hove City Cabs, added: “It’s all to do with public safety. The safety issue is really key with this.”

He also added that Green MP Caroline Lucas had been a major help for them dealing with the issue.

Bosses at the city’s major private hire companies, including Streamline Taxis, Brighton and Hove City Cabs as well as taxi unions, hit out at the proposed amendments last week.

They say the amendments could put members of the public at risk of rogue drivers by making it harder to carry out checks and could also damage the reputation of the city’s taxi industry.

At the moment when a taxi is booked all the details are logged by the operator, including the details of the driver.

But by allowing companies to subcontract work to other areas would hamper the ability of police to track down drivers should anything happen.

Concerns were also raised that allowing non-taxi drivers to drive private hire vehicles when they are off-duty leaves passengers particularly vulnerable to anonymous drivers picking them up.

John Streeter, vice-chairman of Streamline Taxis, said: “We’ve got the highest standards in Brighton compared to anywhere else in the country, and we want to maintain that.

“It’s unsafe and it goes against customer safety.”

Mick Hildreth, secretary for GMB National Taxi section, also said they had been given days to look over the amendments before they were presented to MPs. He said: “There’s been a complete lack of consultation.”

The Government has claimed that allowing companies to subcontract work will help customers, while allowing off-duty taxis to be used as general use cars will save families money on second vehicles.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:21am Wed 9 Apr 14

shining star says...

God help us, a large amount of taxi drivers standards have dropped already! smelly dirty cars, unkempt drivers who can barely understand you and drive by sat nav. If changes are to be made then I would like a thorough check on the suitability of each licensed driver e.g. proof that these actual drivers (and not their mate) have taken the taxi knowledge test. A dress and personal hygiene standard set and checked regularly. I had to travel in a taxi not too long ago as I felt so ill, I had to open the window after I had travelled a short distance as the smell hit me and was absolutely awful, if I hadn't felt so ill I would have got out and walked. I had to cover my nose and mouth the whole journey. I also agree that the safety of passengers is also an issue.
God help us, a large amount of taxi drivers standards have dropped already! smelly dirty cars, unkempt drivers who can barely understand you and drive by sat nav. If changes are to be made then I would like a thorough check on the suitability of each licensed driver e.g. proof that these actual drivers (and not their mate) have taken the taxi knowledge test. A dress and personal hygiene standard set and checked regularly. I had to travel in a taxi not too long ago as I felt so ill, I had to open the window after I had travelled a short distance as the smell hit me and was absolutely awful, if I hadn't felt so ill I would have got out and walked. I had to cover my nose and mouth the whole journey. I also agree that the safety of passengers is also an issue. shining star
  • Score: 9

10:16am Wed 9 Apr 14

clubrob6 says...

A taxi supposed to be a safe way to get home,the safety of travellers could not be guaranteed if these new measures happen.Also would that mean more sat navs I got into a taxi by brighton pier to go to 4th avenue surely the best route is along the seafront but the taxi driver took me inland past the train station.I told the driver who could hardly speak English he was going the wrong way,he was not pleased with me I said I get the taxi on the same route several times a month,it cost me more than a fiver extra.Basically now I look out for a English looking driver.
A taxi supposed to be a safe way to get home,the safety of travellers could not be guaranteed if these new measures happen.Also would that mean more sat navs I got into a taxi by brighton pier to go to 4th avenue surely the best route is along the seafront but the taxi driver took me inland past the train station.I told the driver who could hardly speak English he was going the wrong way,he was not pleased with me I said I get the taxi on the same route several times a month,it cost me more than a fiver extra.Basically now I look out for a English looking driver. clubrob6
  • Score: 5

11:29am Wed 9 Apr 14

Gribbet says...

Looks like the boys that gave us Unchain The Brighton Motorist are going to find themselves unchained.
Looks like the boys that gave us Unchain The Brighton Motorist are going to find themselves unchained. Gribbet
  • Score: -2

12:49pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Cgull says...

It appears we are all doomed.
It appears we are all doomed. Cgull
  • Score: 2

1:58pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Minion says...

Whose stupid idea is this? Taxi drivers can be dodgy enough late at night. I've been offered drink and drugs by two separate drivers on the seafront and western road.
This will make it worse, particularly for vulnerable girls and women who are often put in a taxi to make sure they 'get home safely'.
Whose stupid idea is this? Taxi drivers can be dodgy enough late at night. I've been offered drink and drugs by two separate drivers on the seafront and western road. This will make it worse, particularly for vulnerable girls and women who are often put in a taxi to make sure they 'get home safely'. Minion
  • Score: -1

7:38pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Baffled of Brighton says...

clubrob6 wrote:
A taxi supposed to be a safe way to get home,the safety of travellers could not be guaranteed if these new measures happen.Also would that mean more sat navs I got into a taxi by brighton pier to go to 4th avenue surely the best route is along the seafront but the taxi driver took me inland past the train station.I told the driver who could hardly speak English he was going the wrong way,he was not pleased with me I said I get the taxi on the same route several times a month,it cost me more than a fiver extra.Basically now I look out for a English looking driver.
That is called long hauling, where they take you the long way on purpose, I am not sure if it is illegal, but worth reporting to the council.
It has happened to me before, and I refused to pay the 'extra'. Driver was not happy, but caved after a few minutes.
[quote][p][bold]clubrob6[/bold] wrote: A taxi supposed to be a safe way to get home,the safety of travellers could not be guaranteed if these new measures happen.Also would that mean more sat navs I got into a taxi by brighton pier to go to 4th avenue surely the best route is along the seafront but the taxi driver took me inland past the train station.I told the driver who could hardly speak English he was going the wrong way,he was not pleased with me I said I get the taxi on the same route several times a month,it cost me more than a fiver extra.Basically now I look out for a English looking driver.[/p][/quote]That is called long hauling, where they take you the long way on purpose, I am not sure if it is illegal, but worth reporting to the council. It has happened to me before, and I refused to pay the 'extra'. Driver was not happy, but caved after a few minutes. Baffled of Brighton
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree