We are the National Association of Taxi Users and we campaign for better standards across the taxi industry.
Our two key messages
First is that the distinction between hackney taxis (those you can hire from the street) and private hire taxis (pre-booked) is doomed due to advances in technology, and this has been demonstrated by the Uber method of booking using real-time mobile apps. However, this also means that private hire, as well as hackney vehicles, should be of distinctive appearance to avoid the risk of people getting into a private car by mistake.
Oursecond message is that training and quality control within the taxi trade are frequently unsatisfactory or non-existent, which puts customers at risk. This must be addressed and standards brought in line with other forms of public transport, where formal qualifications such as the Certificate of Professional Competence are required for drivers. This should apply to both hackney and private hire taxis.
The Law Commission report
Unfortunately the Law Commission’s report ‘ducked’ the first issue and was weak on recommendations for the second. In any case, the current government have no plans to legislate. Meanwhile NATU will continue working to improve taxi services for passengers. You have been sending us real horror stories about the background of some people awarded taxi licences and we are lobbying ministers on this and other issues, such as the absence of any ceiling on the number of driver’s hours.
Do let us know your experiences of both good and bad service.
NATU presented evidence to the Law Commission and also to the Transport Committee. Read it here