19 July 2018

Greater Manchester Mayor calls on government for tighter taxi and private hire regulation
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is spearheading a drive to help improve standards for local taxi and private hire customers.

Today he asked people across Greater Manchester to give their views on a range of topics, from public safety to vehicle standards and driver knowledge.

The public’s feedback will be used to support the introduction of a common set of minimum standards, which all Greater Manchester authorities have committed to adopting when issuing taxi and private hire licences.
Participants will also be asked for comments on the potential for common taxi branding and livery so that locally licensed services are easily identifiable.
Mr Burnham is also calling on government to close a loophole in the law which currently allows private hire drivers to operate in Greater Manchester despite being licensed in other areas with less stringent standards.
The call for government action comes at a time when the taxi and private hire trade is becoming increasingly difficult to regulate. New technology and business models combined with outdated legislation are causing growing problems on the road.

Mr Burnham said: “Around 32 million trips are made in taxi and private hire vehicles in Greater Manchester every year and I want every one of those journeys to meet the same, high standard.
“Public safety needs to come first. But for a variety of reasons, the taxi and private hire trade is becoming increasingly problematic – not just locally but across the country.
“I’m calling on Government for an urgent regulatory review so we can tackle the growing problem of ‘out of town’ drivers – with lower driver and vehicle standards and no local knowledge – picking up fares in Greater Manchester.

“At best this means a poor customer experience – and at worst, it can mean real customer safety issues.
“I’m committed to supporting the local taxi and private hire trade by giving a voice to this growing national problem and calling on government to close this loophole in the law.”
Tameside Council is chairing the district council licensing group that has committed to adopting a set of common licensing standards. Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Allison Gwynne, said:
“By and large we already have good licensing standards across Greater Manchester, but we want to set a common, minimum standard for every company and driver licensed by our ten local authorities.
“We want to hear what the public’s experience is now and what they want for the future.
“That includes people who may not currently even use taxis or private hire due to safety concerns. This feedback will be crucial in helping us tackle any problems head on and guarantee safer journeys.”
Night-time economy advisor Sacha Lord backed the calls for improved regulation, saying: “Taxis play a crucial role in helping people get around our city region and in supporting the night-time economy.
“As you’d expect, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times for residents using taxis and private hire vehicles – and a third of all these trips are made by younger women.
“It’s critical from a safety point of view that we make sure all drivers and their vehicles meet a common standard, so everyone can catch a cab with confidence.”
Each of the ten Greater Manchester district councils will consult with taxi and private hire operators and drivers over any changes to their individual licensing standards later this year.
A report outlining the proposed approach to the introduction of common minimum standards for taxis and private hire licensing is due to be considered by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on Friday 27 July.

The new minimum taxi and private hire licensing standards for Greater Manchester would be reviewed regularly and could, in future, include criteria aimed at lowering emissions, once improved electric charging infrastructure is installed.

There are currently around 2,000 taxis and 11,000 private hire vehicles licensed by the ten Greater Manchester authorities.

Taxis are also known as black cabs, or Hackney carriages, and are often the London-style cabs. They can be flagged down on the street, at an authorised taxi rank or can be pre-booked.
A private hire vehicle can only be pre-booked through a private hire company, which might be over the phone or using an app.
Anyone who uses taxis or private hire services in Greater Manchester, or who wants to express an opinion, can do so at www.tfgm.com/taxi-phv<http://www.tfgm.com/taxi-phv> until Friday 31 August.
Media contact: 0161 244 1055 or email mediarelations@tfgm.com<mailto:mediarelations@tfgm.com>
Notes to Editors
1. Taxi and private hire facts:

· Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times for residents using taxis/private hire. On other days, between 10am – 4pm is the busiest period.

· 20-34 year olds use taxis most frequently, with 32% of all taxi trips made by this group.

· 65-74 year olds use taxis much less than other groups (only 3% of trips).

· 42% of taxi trips are made by males.

· 58% of taxi trips are made by females.

· Low income households are more likely to use taxis, with 43% of trips being made by those with a household income of less than £15k.

· People with a disability are more than three times as likely to use a taxi/private hire for travel.

· Over a quarter of trips (27%) are for sport and entertainment, 21% of taxi trips are made for shopping and 17% are for commuting.
2. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the transport delivery arm for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and its Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC).
3. We co-ordinate public transport and other types of travel – like driving, cycling and walking – throughout the ten district areas of Greater Manchester, the UK’s largest regional economy outside London.
4. We work closely with bus, tram and train operators to help put the customer first and improve the journey experience. We also own Metrolink – the UK’s largest light rail network hosting 41 million passenger journeys a year – and plan for its future.
5. By investing in new, modern transport interchanges and smarter travel information we’re making it easier to get around on public transport. We also promote and invest in walking and cycling as a healthy and sustainable way to travel.
6. With our partners at Highways England and the ten local authorities we work to keep our roads safe and ease congestion.
7. We’re also planning for a more sustainable future. Through the Greater Manchester 2040 Transport Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan we aim to make our city-region a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, work and play in.
8. For more information, visit www.tfgm.com<http://www.tfgm.com>.



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Today Andy Burnham has announced a Greater Manchester Taxi & PH Licensing Policy Consultation !


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Hi Folks, we are still here working behind the scenes, yesterday we attended a A2AA meeting ( Access to all areas) last week after replying to TfGM 20/40 consultation we attended a meeting in Manchester with 3 TfGM officers.

Yesterday we tweeted Trafford Council are failing GM by not having a knowledge test for both taxi and PH drivers, we got 2 tweets back from Trafford councillors they are reviewing the knowledge test in the new year to hopefully get it back! To late I stated the damage has been done, Why should one set of drivers not have to undertake it and the majority of Greater Manchester drivers have too?

We know it’s hard out there, with all the out of town drivers taking work from you, until the Deregulation Act is changed I’m afraid we are stuck with it.

It would help if you went on our twitter page or joined our closed Facebook Book, more on that shortly! If you have any issues or help don’t forget to let us us know by joining this site.

Derrick Brocklehurst the Manchester Association Secretary is on board all we need now is more GM associations and drivers to react with us, the sooner the associations join up, the sooner we get all 10 GM United together!


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