GMB has written to council members in order to persuade them to alter the taxi regulations. The Government deregulation bill has created a chaos for taxi drivers as some local authorities have been issuing licenses for taxis that work outside their jurisdiction.
GMB is a union for private hire drivers and has written to council leaders in an attempt to legislate the border challenges created by the deregulation. In some situations, taxi drivers are applying for a license outside of their jurisdiction after already being refused by their own local authority. An example that has been used by GMB is that the authorities in Southend refused some drivers, and they then went to TFL in order to obtain a license, before starting to operate in Southend, which is outside the TFL jurisdiction and shouldn’t be permitted. This could lead to dangerous drivers being given licenses and could discredit many drivers in the industry.
UnionLine is GMB’s own law firm and have suggested that the councils should create by-laws that will then limit drivers to operating only in the county they have registered in. In order to get a consistent law across the country, legislation would have to be passed however the situation could be controlled by individual councils until the time comes for national legislation.
The current situation has been described as out of control, and it has been compared to the Wild West, where drivers are operating where they like without being stopped by the authorities. Councils do have the power to end the challenges faced by the private hire industry and yet they are currently doing nothing to help. The Union feel they need to write to councils in order to address the dangerous practice that has led to local authority power being undermined and hardworking driver’s reputation being undermined.