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Danger - Taxi Deregulation

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GMB Fear Public Safety Will Be Put At Risk From Amendments On Taxis In Deregulation Bill 2014 Now Before Parliament

We will now not be able to rule out direct action from our taxi members unless the government drops its proposals say GMB.

GMB, the union for professional drivers, says that it cannot rule out direct action by members over the rail-roading through the Committee stage in Parliament on 25th March of changes to laws on taxis government is including in the Deregulation Bill 2014. GMB members consider that the introduction of unregulated taxi drivers, ending criminal records checks, ending vehicle checks and ending local licencing will be a hammer blow to the taxi and private hire industry.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer for the transport sector, said “Department of Transport proposals now included in the Deregulation Bill 2014 will damage and destroy the taxi industry.

We will now not be able to rule out direct action from our taxi members unless the government drops its proposals.

The Governments proposals will seriously put at risk passenger safety, and be a threat to women using the Taxi industry, by being placed at risk to assault and attack by the introduction of unregulated taxi drivers.

The House of Commons transport select committee last year published a report that would have enabled taxi transport in the UK to be held as a beacon to the rest of the world. It would have brought a safer, and more passenger friendly industry.
 
The current proposals by the Department of Transport have ignored the cross party transport select committee proposals of last year. The Governments proposals will destroy the tremendous passenger safety culture, established over many years in the industry. The proposals will also potentially lead to more women being put at risk to assault and attack who have to travel late at night, by unregulated drivers. The Government should follow the proposals put forward by the cross party committee of experts that make up the transport select committee. These proposals have found favour by many in the industry, the trade unions, and the licensing authorities.
 
The last time the Tories where in power they nearly destroyed the railway industry, this time they may be supporting proposals by the Department of Transport, which will destroy our great taxi industry.

We want MPs to understand, that GMB taxi drivers are incensed at the proposals to destroy the taxi industry, and urge all MPs and the government to support the common sense approach adopted by the experts of the Transport Select Committee with knowledge of the taxi industry, and reject these belated last minute daft, potentially unsafe and dangerous proposals proposed by the Department of Transport.

Government should wait for the Law Commission report which will ready during the next Parliament. One has to question why the Government is trying to push through ill thought out proposals relating to the Taxi Industry on the back of the Deregulation Bill.”

Mick Hildreth, GMB Secretary for the Taxi Industry, added “The House of Commons transport select committee in 2012 published a report that would have created a taxi industry to be held up as a beacon to the rest of the world. It would have brought a safer, and more passenger friendly industry, instead the government have ignored a great report from a cross party committee of experts."

End

Contact: Mick Rix GMB National Officer  07971 268343 or Mick Hildreth Secretary GMB Taxi Drivers 07814 032002.  GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 or 07974 251 823

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