Suzy Lamplugh Trust welcomes the publication of the report of the Task and Finish Group on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing of which it was a member and urges the government to promptly implement the recommendations in the report in the interests of public safety. 

Suzy Lamplugh Trust has continuously campaigned to improve personal safety in taxi and private hire driver licensing. In a campaign launched earlier this year 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. 

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. 

In light of this, we hope that the government understands and appreciates the urgency for reform and implements the recommendations put forward by the Task and Finish Group without delay. 

The report is available to read here.