Minicab firms 'flouting rules'

thisisoxfordshire: Minicab  firms 'flouting rules' Minicab firms 'flouting rules'

A CLAMPDOWN on cab companies forcing their drivers to break licensing rules has been launched by Oxford City Council.

The council’s licensing team leader Julian Alison said the local authority would prosecute private hire firms that make employees ply for trade.

Private hire vehicles must be booked in advance and are not allowed to ‘ply for hire’, which means they can’t queue in a rank or be flagged down in the street.

But Mr Alison said he believed many firms were telling their drivers to flout the rules.

He said: “We have a number of licence-holders who will listen to what the operators say because they want to keep their jobs.

“All the operators want is bums on seats, they don’t care about the individual drivers.

“We have seen examples of private hire drivers turning up at hotels, having removed their stickers and pretending to be exempt vehicles.”

Mr Alison told a meeting of the council’s general purposes licensing committee that enforcement officers would target companies on the wrong side of the law.

He said: “You should expect to see the operators up in front of you in future.”

Committee chairman Colin Cook, below, praised officers and said the council’s tougher new policy on law-breakers had been successful.

He said: “My feeling is we have said ‘cheerio’ to far more people than we used to. I think it’s working.”

Green group leader David Williams also expressed concerns about unsafe vehicles being used and people with poor eyesight being drivers.

He said: “We just can’t have the situation of death traps being driven around and we can’t have the situation of drivers who can only see 25 metres in front of them. This committee and the officers are the guardians of public safety.”

But private hire driver Khalil Ahmed said: “I’m not aware of any companies which ask drivers to break the rules, but I assume if Mr Alison is talking about this then he has evidence and will deal with it, which I have no problem with.

“I have worked with the firm 101 and I’m now with Royal and I can’t imagine either of them would flout the rules.

“Drivers are aware of the terms and conditions of their licences and I have no sympathy for drivers who break them.

“Regardless of whether they had been told to do it, they should be prosecuted. If a company told me to violate my licence, I wouldn’t do it.”

Comments (14)

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6:21pm Wed 24 Oct 12

davyboy says...

many drivers flout the rules, especially on a friday and saturday, when so many people want to get home. i have seen them personally stop when people have put their hands out. this happens in places where you wouldn't normally wait for a cab, like the bottom of headington hill, by the bus stop. this will only stop, however, if both driver and company are fined.
many drivers flout the rules, especially on a friday and saturday, when so many people want to get home. i have seen them personally stop when people have put their hands out. this happens in places where you wouldn't normally wait for a cab, like the bottom of headington hill, by the bus stop. this will only stop, however, if both driver and company are fined. davyboy
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Davyboy it is nothing to do with the company, the company Royals, 001, get a set rent of the driver regardless of the work that they do, so there is less incentive for a company to tell their drivers to ply for hire as it means less cars available for their booked customers. Private Hire drivers do this off their own back, and as one of the charges is driving without valid insurance, their licence should be revoked for 2 years at least, we all know the favoured places PHV ply for hire so it should be easy for the council to catch them, it seems that the latest place is Hythe Bridge Street now that Fuzzy Ducks has moved there. But does the council really want to revoke a couple of hundred licences as it would cost them £100,000 in lost licence fees, this has been going on for 30 years and it has just got worse over the years, so let us see if this is just more bluster from licensing yet again, just as they said that they will prosecute drivers going through Queen Street, not one prosecution yet, but you will see a couple of hundred PHV drive through there every night. But I suppose they have to justify the million quid that they take off of us to pay a great salary and even better pension, I am on the wrong side I think, taxi licensing is the easiest job going.
Davyboy it is nothing to do with the company, the company Royals, 001, get a set rent of the driver regardless of the work that they do, so there is less incentive for a company to tell their drivers to ply for hire as it means less cars available for their booked customers. Private Hire drivers do this off their own back, and as one of the charges is driving without valid insurance, their licence should be revoked for 2 years at least, we all know the favoured places PHV ply for hire so it should be easy for the council to catch them, it seems that the latest place is Hythe Bridge Street now that Fuzzy Ducks has moved there. But does the council really want to revoke a couple of hundred licences as it would cost them £100,000 in lost licence fees, this has been going on for 30 years and it has just got worse over the years, so let us see if this is just more bluster from licensing yet again, just as they said that they will prosecute drivers going through Queen Street, not one prosecution yet, but you will see a couple of hundred PHV drive through there every night. But I suppose they have to justify the million quid that they take off of us to pay a great salary and even better pension, I am on the wrong side I think, taxi licensing is the easiest job going. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -45

10:07pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

The whole Hackney Carriage/Private Hire vehicles issue is a bit out of date now really surely?

At least one of the Oxford operators has GPS activated booking services via Iphone. What's the difference between flagging down a car in the street and flagging one down on-line?
The whole Hackney Carriage/Private Hire vehicles issue is a bit out of date now really surely? At least one of the Oxford operators has GPS activated booking services via Iphone. What's the difference between flagging down a car in the street and flagging one down on-line? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

11:15pm Wed 24 Oct 12

phvdriver says...

“We have seen examples of private hire drivers turning up at hotels, having removed their stickers and pretending to be exempt vehicles.” Surley Mr Alison will know who these drivers are as the following day these drivers will be asking him for more door stickers. These door stickers are only obtainable from his office.

Local authority used to do regular operations, checking on these drivers. I dont remember any operation in last two years. I also work for Royal Cars and they certainly discourage their drivers from ply for hire.
“We have seen examples of private hire drivers turning up at hotels, having removed their stickers and pretending to be exempt vehicles.” Surley Mr Alison will know who these drivers are as the following day these drivers will be asking him for more door stickers. These door stickers are only obtainable from his office. Local authority used to do regular operations, checking on these drivers. I dont remember any operation in last two years. I also work for Royal Cars and they certainly discourage their drivers from ply for hire. phvdriver
  • Score: 0

7:52am Thu 25 Oct 12

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

How many council staff are in this licensing team? I don't use taxis but I do pay council tax, so I'd like to know how efficient this council function is. It may be a more interesting report.
How many council staff are in this licensing team? I don't use taxis but I do pay council tax, so I'd like to know how efficient this council function is. It may be a more interesting report. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

11:12am Thu 25 Oct 12

MyRoyalCars says...

I am a Royal car driver for well over 10 years, at that time there were 200 private hire vehicles and 100 hackney carriage. today there are approx 650 private hire vehicle and 107 hackney carriage.. the city council is the biggest problem here. They are happy on keep issuing the pricvate hire plates to any tom dick and harry, thus forcing the private hire drivers to work much longer hours and put up with the private hire OPERATORS who offere good work to family and friends first!. why is there a limit on hackney carriage licenses when there isn't one in the rest of the Country..
I am a Royal car driver for well over 10 years, at that time there were 200 private hire vehicles and 100 hackney carriage. today there are approx 650 private hire vehicle and 107 hackney carriage.. the city council is the biggest problem here. They are happy on keep issuing the pricvate hire plates to any tom dick and harry, thus forcing the private hire drivers to work much longer hours and put up with the private hire OPERATORS who offere good work to family and friends first!. why is there a limit on hackney carriage licenses when there isn't one in the rest of the Country.. MyRoyalCars
  • Score: -32

11:34am Thu 25 Oct 12

chavster says...

"just as they said that they will prosecute drivers going through Queen Street, not one prosecution yet, but you will see a couple of hundred PHV drive through there every night"

The taxis always take the long way round when there's a fare paying passenger in the back though - the drivers aren't stupid!
"just as they said that they will prosecute drivers going through Queen Street, not one prosecution yet, but you will see a couple of hundred PHV drive through there every night" The taxis always take the long way round when there's a fare paying passenger in the back though - the drivers aren't stupid! chavster
  • Score: 2

7:27pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Milkbutnosugarplease says...
7:52am Thu 25 Oct 12

How many council staff are in this licensing team? I don't use taxis but I do pay council tax, so I'd like to know how efficient this council function is. It may be a more interesting report.


It is the most efficient department of the council, running a surplus that keeps on growing every year due to high licence fees and lack of action from the council, (or doing their job) so no need to worry as a taxpayer, over the last 3 years we have made a net contribution of over £150,000, but now due to a threat of legal action to recover our money, Taxi licensing now use a thing called "creative accounting" so that they will now only break even this year, and next etc
Milkbutnosugarplease says... 7:52am Thu 25 Oct 12 How many council staff are in this licensing team? I don't use taxis but I do pay council tax, so I'd like to know how efficient this council function is. It may be a more interesting report. It is the most efficient department of the council, running a surplus that keeps on growing every year due to high licence fees and lack of action from the council, (or doing their job) so no need to worry as a taxpayer, over the last 3 years we have made a net contribution of over £150,000, but now due to a threat of legal action to recover our money, Taxi licensing now use a thing called "creative accounting" so that they will now only break even this year, and next etc Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -43

9:44pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Oxford_Al says...

I just think its all aload of crap, hackneys blocking off high street as if their dad built the road and parking and waiting out side bridge night club even though that's not a taxi rank, over charging people and taking tourist long way round doesn't help so I guess Phv should be deregulated and that will fix all the problem plus generate more money for the council.....
I just think its all aload of crap, hackneys blocking off high street as if their dad built the road and parking and waiting out side bridge night club even though that's not a taxi rank, over charging people and taking tourist long way round doesn't help so I guess Phv should be deregulated and that will fix all the problem plus generate more money for the council..... Oxford_Al
  • Score: 1

1:13pm Fri 26 Oct 12

seamusl says...

Julian Alison is typical of petty officialdom making ill informed statements and showing a lack of understanding of the (well paid) job he is employed to do. No PHV (not mini cab) company wishes their drivers to act illegally and indeed disciplin and report drivers who are caught acting so, fire this buffoon and employ someone who is willing to learn the job and not make statements that attempt to justify their continued existence. Seamus Leahy
Julian Alison is typical of petty officialdom making ill informed statements and showing a lack of understanding of the (well paid) job he is employed to do. No PHV (not mini cab) company wishes their drivers to act illegally and indeed disciplin and report drivers who are caught acting so, fire this buffoon and employ someone who is willing to learn the job and not make statements that attempt to justify their continued existence. Seamus Leahy seamusl
  • Score: 0

2:25am Sat 27 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Oxford_Al says...
9:44pm Thu 25 Oct 12

I just think its all aload of crap, hackneys blocking off high street as if their dad built the road and parking and waiting out side bridge night club even though that's not a taxi rank, over charging people and taking tourist long way round doesn't help so I guess Phv should be deregulated and that will fix all the problem plus generate more money for the council.....

AL. If you mean taking the long way round by NOT using Queen Street, or Broad Street or Turl Street then you are correct, but that is because we are obeying the law. PHV drivers will use these routes because they think that they are above the law as we all see by their driving everyday. I am just waiting for the day when you or one of your compatriots have a smash when racing into Turl Street from the High, not only is it illegal, but also highly dangerous, but you do it with alarming regularity, and I hope that people will see from your comment the difference in attitude between the professional Hackney Drivers and yourself and your fellow PHV drivers. Also Seamus couldn't agree more, but that is what happens when you give a position of great importance to a University Graduate, instead of somebody that knows the job. To be a licensing officer you should have at least 10 years experience as a driver before being considered, because people like Julian have no idea what it is like to be a Taxi driver, and therefore cannot be qualified to make judgements that will take away ones livelihood.
Oxford_Al says... 9:44pm Thu 25 Oct 12 I just think its all aload of crap, hackneys blocking off high street as if their dad built the road and parking and waiting out side bridge night club even though that's not a taxi rank, over charging people and taking tourist long way round doesn't help so I guess Phv should be deregulated and that will fix all the problem plus generate more money for the council..... AL. If you mean taking the long way round by NOT using Queen Street, or Broad Street or Turl Street then you are correct, but that is because we are obeying the law. PHV drivers will use these routes because they think that they are above the law as we all see by their driving everyday. I am just waiting for the day when you or one of your compatriots have a smash when racing into Turl Street from the High, not only is it illegal, but also highly dangerous, but you do it with alarming regularity, and I hope that people will see from your comment the difference in attitude between the professional Hackney Drivers and yourself and your fellow PHV drivers. Also Seamus couldn't agree more, but that is what happens when you give a position of great importance to a University Graduate, instead of somebody that knows the job. To be a licensing officer you should have at least 10 years experience as a driver before being considered, because people like Julian have no idea what it is like to be a Taxi driver, and therefore cannot be qualified to make judgements that will take away ones livelihood. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -1

1:31pm Sat 27 Oct 12

seamusl says...

Al , couldn't agree more, however this would need some sense and committment from the council itself would it not. Seamus Leahy
Al , couldn't agree more, however this would need some sense and committment from the council itself would it not. Seamus Leahy seamusl
  • Score: 1

7:26pm Sun 28 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Seamus are you really agreeing with AL. Or did you mis-read his ill-informed ill-educated rant. If so then we can dismiss all of your comments as well.
Seamus are you really agreeing with AL. Or did you mis-read his ill-informed ill-educated rant. If so then we can dismiss all of your comments as well. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -1

11:56pm Sun 28 Oct 12

seamusl says...

He posted (in part) "Seamus couldn't agree more, but that is what happens when you give a position of great importance to a University Graduate, instead of somebody that knows the job. To be a licensing officer you should have at least 10 years experience as a driver before being considered" -I see nothing wrong with agreeing with that, granted I should have dotted the i's and crossed the t's but assumed the posters here would follow the thread. The reason I don't post more in these comments is because people seem to be trying to score points rather than make constructive comments about the issues,
He posted (in part) "Seamus couldn't agree more, but that is what happens when you give a position of great importance to a University Graduate, instead of somebody that knows the job. To be a licensing officer you should have at least 10 years experience as a driver before being considered" -I see nothing wrong with agreeing with that, granted I should have dotted the i's and crossed the t's but assumed the posters here would follow the thread. The reason I don't post more in these comments is because people seem to be trying to score points rather than make constructive comments about the issues, seamusl
  • Score: 1

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