For Britain will introduce a Six Point Plan for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers (including ‘Uber’ drivers).
Taking a taxi is a contract between the customer and the driver. The customer wants to be taken to their destination safely, in a professional manner, in a clean and safe vehicle. The driver wants to earn a living and be treated with respect.
This proposal seeks to ensure the safest possible environment for the passenger, and a fair and reasonable market for the driver to operate.
Private hire drivers often work via an operator (the taxi firm). Black cab drivers may operate fully independently of an operator.
For Britain, for taxi drivers 🚖 pic.twitter.com/kOZ8JjwUaw
— For Britain Chairman 🔱 (@ForBritainChair) June 13, 2019
Taxi drivers are self-employed. Many work around 50 hours a week or more to earn enough to live. They are generally dependent upon tips to make up their wage. Drivers do not get sick pay or holiday pay. Fares are often artificially low and do not reflect a true market value. Fares are set in place by each operator (the taxi firm). Operators may lower taxi rates or keep them low as a marketing tactic to attract customers; it can be a case of a ‘race to the bottom’.
Each licensing area (Local Authority) has different criteria for a driver to gain a taxi licence – some areas have less strict criteria than others.
For Britain would introduce the following as national requirements for a driver to become a taxi driver:
- The driver must have a registered UK address and be listed on the electoral register;
- Drivers must be legally resident in the UK for at least 24 months;
- The driver must hold a full valid UK (or Irish) driving licence, earned by taking and passing the national driving test in Britain or Ireland;
- The driver must satisfy a comprehensive DBS safety check (formerly a CRB check) going back a minimum of 10 years;
- The driver must be able to speak English and pass a national standardised spoken & written English test. All tests and interviews will be carried out in English;
- Licencing fraud, or any fraud committed by drivers in the establishment of a taxi service, will be punishable with a prison sentence and/or deportation for non-British citizens;
Local knowledge is key to the customer getting the best possible experience. The above would support and encourage more local drivers.
Existing taxi drivers would also have to comply with the above criteria.
It is our belief that, because of the lack of proper regulation (and corruption within some council licensing departments) in the taxi market, the British public is put at unnecessary risk in taxis and private hire vehicles. An income stream for British workers is also being lost. The above proposal will have the benefit of bringing local people back into the trade and supporting the local community.
Furthermore, it is well known that large numbers of non-British taxi drivers have been involved in rape gangs over the last few decades – many of whom would not have passed the above criteria. In many cases, taxis were used to deliver young white and Sikh girls to have sex with Muslim men. Some of these girls were as young as eleven years old. Putting all and any systems in place to prevent this must be a priority: The For Britain Six Point Plan will make our taxis safer.