Friday 29th June 2018

Safety concerns about Uber are the tip of the iceberg. We must do more to address safety standards in taxi and private hire licensing across the board

Suzy Lamplugh Trust welcomes the steps Uber has taken to satisfy the court that it has improved its safety standards. However, as a charity that has campaigned on issues of personal safety for over 30 years, it remains concerned at the inconsistencies between driver safety policies set by licensing authorities across the UK due to a lack of national standards. Suzy Lamplugh Trust is calling for an overhaul of current licensing standards for all licensing authorities, including a review of the framework used to share information about driver incidents between operators, the police and licensing authorities. It is also calling for a review of the frequency and scope of DBS checks carried out on drivers.

In its decision to revoke Uber’s London licence in 2017, TFL included concerns about Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences. The 15-month probation period that Uber have been given includes a 6-month review that will be undertaken by TFL. It is important that TFL scrutinise whether Uber has sufficient evidence to demonstrate their continued commitment and consistency in reporting driver offences.

Rachel Griffin, Chief Executive of Suzy Lamplugh Trust, commented:

“While Uber has satisfied the court that it has implemented the safety standards required to satisfy TFL as its licensing authority, Suzy Lamplugh Trust remains concerned about gaps in current licensing standards for all taxi and private hire vehicle drivers, which may be putting passengers at risk.

Our research published earlier this year showed that a significant number of both licensed taxi and private hire vehicle drivers across the UK have criminal records including convictions for actual bodily harm, common assault, speeding and drink driving. The results illustrate inconsistent policies across different authorities about licences being awarded following convictions and other worrying patterns of behaviour by drivers including cautions and reprimands.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust has continuously campaigned to improve personal safety in taxi and private hire driver licensing. We are calling for national minimum standards for licensing taxi and private hire vehicle drivers in order to overcome the current inconsistencies between policies developed by individual licensing authorities across England and Wales. Passengers need to be assured that wherever they get into a licensed vehicle, and whoever the operator or licensing authority is, drivers have been vetted to the highest possible safety standards in order to protect passenger safety.”


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Suzy Lamplugh Trust is the UK’s leading personal safety charity. Our vision is a society in which people are safer - and feel safer - from violence and aggression; we want people to be able to live life to the full.

Figures are collated from responses to individual freedom of information requests made to local authorities. Every licensing authority in England and Wales was sent an FOI request. The requests were made between August and December 20