GMB Intended Use Policy Forward

The GMB is supporting the condition of licensing for an 'Intended Use Policy'  for hackney carriage taxis, private hire vehicles and Operators.

Since the 2015 Deregulation Act ‘Cross-Border Hiring’ has seen a huge increase in mainly private hire vehicles predominantly working in areas other than the actual area the vehicle and driver are licensed in.

This has had the effect of the total eradication of  ‘Local Licensing Control’ which was given to local authorities by Parliament under the 1976 Local Government Miscellaneous Act after many years of private hire vehicle never being licensed.

However, Local councils can now no longer be relied on to ensure the safety of passengers who are oblivious that the chances are that the private hire vehicle they are provided with is not locally licensed, and as such, not under the control of Local Licensing Enforcement and could in fact be licensed hundreds of miles away ‘Out-of-Sight & Out-of Mind’ of the vehicle and the drivers own licensing authority.

Cross-Border Hiring has always taken place between adjoining local authorities. However up until the 2015 Deregulation Act it has not been to the extent of the ever increasing exploitation of Cross–Border Hiring  where a vehicle licence is purposely sought in an area of lower requirements to predominantly work in an area of higher requirements.

This has not only undermined local authorities but is now having the effect of fewer local licences being applied for in areas of higher licensing requirements based on the principle of ‘Why bother attaining a higher requirement for a licence in Area A when I can get a licence elsewhere much easier in Area B...and then predominantly work in Area A’

This deprives a local authority of licensing fees in order to run an efficient Licensing Department unless local fees are increased to make up the loss.

The question has to be asked as to why Wolverhampton Council has issued some 15k private hire licences and as to how many of these actually work within the Wolverhampton local authority?

It must be made clear that with an 'Intended Use Policy' for hackney carriage taxis and private hire vehicles there is no intention to stop Cross-Border Hiring.

The only intention is to ensure that if a proprietor of a vehicle wishes to predominantly use it to work in a specific area then the vehicle must be a licence in that area attaining all the local requirements needed. Any driver of that vehicle must then also be licensed accordingly.

Under private hire licensing there is no restriction to do this. The only restriction is that an applicant of the vehicle must reach the required local standards which are open to everyone.

Such an 'Intended Use Policy' is currently available for any council to have as a condition of licensing for hackney carriage taxis and some councils already enforce this which ensures that these vehicles stay within local Licensing Enforcement Control.

There is no reason for this to not also apply to private hire vehicles.

An 'Intended Use Policy' as a condition of licence is not a restriction of trade but a requirement to  ensure that Local Licensing Control is not undermined  and  can carry out its obligation of Enforcement Control for the safety of the public.

For further information see the full GMB 'Intended Use Policy' document

GMB National Organising Committee

Download the full pdf document Here

Download the full pdf document Here