By Matt Lewin
It was as long ago as 1948, when the Town Police Clauses Act was a spritely 101 years old, that the Lord Chief Justice complained that taxi licensing statutes were "obsolete, many are obscure ... and others ... are out of date" and called for a new law to consolidate and simplify the rules.
In the past twelve months, there has been a remarkable flurry of activity in the taxi licensing world, which has underlined the urgency of the Lord Chief Justice's complaint, itself made 71 years ago:
- Uber's model has come under yet more scrutiny in the courts.
- The government has published its response to the Task and Finish Group's report issued in September.
- Consultations are underway in England (on statutory guidance) and Wales (on brand new legislation).
- The government and the public have finally woken up to the air quality crisis in our towns and cities.
- The Information Commissioner has thrown the cat among the pigeons with her brief guidance on the use of CCTV in taxis.
All this activity has given us cause to hope that, over the next few years, we may at last see real, meaningful change to our taxi licensing laws which will finally make them fit for the 21st century.
In this special edition taxi licensing bulletin, Cornerstone Barristers' Licensing Team look at these significant new developments.