Govt hails taxi dereg
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
IT IS A fundamental objective of the Transport Bill that taxis should be permitted to expand into new markets, Junior Transport Minister Michael Spicer said last week.
He was speaking in Exeter at a taxi trade conference, and said that the proposal to permit taxis to carry passengers at separate fares is central to the Government's plans for deregulation of public transport.
Mr Spicer said detailed regulations on the type of service, fares, signs to be carried, the manner in which hirings are to be made and the operating conditions would be prepared soon.
They woulld be framed with the co-operation of the Taxicab Associations.
"By making it cheaper to travel by taxi, tlhis scheme will en'courage more people to use cabs and so bring more money into the taxi trade," he said.
But he si:ressed that taxi sharing would not be compulsory. It would be for the driver or proprietor to decide whether a shared service is offered, and the first passenger would have the right to demand and receive an exclusive hiring at a higher rate. He went on to repeat the Government's determination that taxi proprietors running local bus-type services would be granted a special type of bus operator's licence simply for the asking.
There would be no need for either the driver or the proprietor to satisfy public service vehicle licensing requirements. He added: "May I put it this way. You and your vehicles and your drivers have already satisfied one licensing system and there is no need to require you to go through all that again."
But he insisted that quality standards would not be lowered.