RMT London Taxi Driver Branch Sets Out Demands On Law Commission Review

We note the interim statement from the Law Commission on its consideration of taxi and private hire

We welcome the indication that the Commission will recommend retaining the distinction between taxis and
private hire vehicles (PHVs). We are concerned, however, that the replacement of the concept of ‘plying for hire’ with the concept of ‘pre-booking’ may dilute this distinction and allow private hire vehicles to encroach on taxi drivers’ work. (paragraph 5)

We welcome the Commission’s withdrawal of its previous recommendation to abolish quantity controls, which explicitly recognises that the ‘market’ ie. unfettered competition between drivers, is not appropriate. (paragraph 6)

We do not accept the discrimination inherent in the proposal that local authorities should be able to impose local standards additional to national standards on taxis but not on private hire services. (paragraphs 11 and 12)

We are concerned about the Commission’s support for ‘freeing up cross-border working for private hire
services’. (paragraph 13)

We support our London Taxi Drivers branch’s demands for:

  • Plying for hire to be defined both in our favour and in statute.
  • PHVs to not be permitted to wait in advance of bookings or form ranks outside venues.
  • Taxi Ranks overhaul and a fit-for-purpose strategy developed throughout London
  • STaN initiative planning permission for satellite offices - No rank = No satellite office
  • Vehicle distinction to be paramount: the ‘black cab’ is our unique selling point.
  • A PHV should always be a PHV and should only be driven by a PHV driver whether working or not.
  • Pedicabs and alike not to have the right to ply for hire or operate on the highway.
  • Crime statistics and plying for hire offences to be broken down into categories such as Taxi, PHV and
  • Robust enforcement of plying for hire legislation: funding to be set at a level capable of dealing with
    the size of both the taxi and private hire trades.
  • A managed growth of BOTH taxi and private hire trades in the interest of maintaining standards.

We instruct the General Secretary to ensure the prompt publication of a good-quality RMT newsletter for
London Taxi Drivers reporting our stance on these and other issues and including a membership form; and a similar newsletter for other areas should the lead officer request it.


Reports and developments are to be placed in front of us. Regional Councils branches to be advised.

Law Commision Review Interim Statement