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Government Make U-Turn Over Relaxing Rules For Taxi Drivers

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2:45pm 17th October 2014

The Government's made a U turn over a planned change in the law which could have led to more rogue taxi drivers on our roads.

As reported on Wessex FM - Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill was concerned allowing anyone to drive a cab when it was off duty, could put passengers in danger.

He lobbied West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin - and the proposal has now been dropped.

Commenting on the Government's withdrawal of planned taxi licensing rules within the Deregulation Bill, Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said:

"This is a huge victory for Police and Crime Commissioners across the country.  I am delighted that after concerted PCC lobbying, the Government has listened to our concerns and has backed down on Clause 10 of the Deregulation Bill, which would have enabled people who don't hold a private hire vehicle license to drive one when it is off duty. This proposal had the potential to increase the number of unlicensed drivers pretending to be legitimate.

"It has been a priority of mine to campaign on this issue as I could not back a bill which would have led to an increase in rogue taxi drivers, therefore putting passenger's safety at risk, both here in Dorset and across the country.

"Anyone getting into a taxi must be assured that the driver has been vetted and licensed and that it is safe to get into that vehicle. The Government should also now review the two remaining taxi clauses in the Deregulation Bill, which would increase the length of driver licences and allow taxis to work out of area."

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