Basildon Councillors to discuss enforcement of private hire vehicles

Councillors will discuss enforcement activity being carried out to regulate taxis and private hire vehicles when they meet tomorrow.

The current two-tier system allows taxis to undertake both instant street hire and pre-booked work, while private hire vehicles are only allowed to take passengers on a pre-booked basis. The legislation allows licensed vehicles to carry out pre-booked work anywhere in England and Wales.

Basildon Council has carried out both daytime and evening enforcement checks this year in an attempt to detect illegal activity by licensed vehicles from outside of the area. The need for further joint operations alongside Essex Police will be discussed at Council tomorrow (Thursday, 14 December).

Councillors will also consider pursuing the option of cross border delegation, which allows councils to authorise officers from neighbouring local authorities to use enforcement powers on their behalf.

Cllr Alan Bennett, Chairman of Basildon Council’s licensing committee, said: “We have limited options in relation to out of town licensed vehicles but it is important that we utilise all the powers available to us using appropriate and targeted enforcement.

“Picking up passengers who have not pre-booked takes valuable trade away from local drivers who have to meet our licensing standards aimed at ensuring customer safety. Passengers are also in danger of getting into an unlicensed vehicle which doesn’t have valid insurance. Our message to residents is clear – only use licensed taxis, or book a private hire vehicle in advance.”

Changes to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme, the regeneration of East Square and plans to improve the delivery of health services in the borough are among the other items set to be discussed at Council.

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