First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Transport for London (TfL) has launched a policy statement in response to changes in the private hire industry and new services available. It aims to keep the capital at the forefront of regulating taxi and private hire services while maintaining the safety of passengers.
As part of a series of changes to increase industry standards, TfL is advancing regulations to assess private hire drivers and applicants on safeguarding, disability, equality and knowledge of private hire vehicle (PHV) legislation as part of an enhanced driver assessment package.
In addition, TfL will consider proposals for consultation relating to an advanced driving test, PHV operator fleet insurance and PHV signage. It will also contemplate the impact of removing the Congestion Charge exemption for these vehicles.
New regulations could include strengthened requirements for operators to commit to safety as a high priority, and to take steps to ensure the safety of passengers as well as drivers dealing with difficult situations. They may also have to clearly state policies and action plans for the prevention and reporting of offences and for clear, named accountability at senior management level for safety, reporting and protection of personal data. In addition, operators may have to provide mechanisms that enable passengers to choose who they share vehicles with and establish how they might be able to make this decision before accepting a ride. Implementing insurance for the use of all PHVs with contingency insurance cover for ride-sharing and fleet insurance where appropriate may also be required.
The policy statement sets out TfL's expectations for these services, and its principles will inform future consultations on specific regulations. These will be designed to fit with the Mayor of London's ambition for a safe, active, sustainable and efficient transport network.
Other areas that form part of the vision and further details are available on the website.